Royals confident heading home for Game 6
TORONTO -- That hard work during the final week of the regular season to grab the American League's best record and home-field advantage throughout the postseason perhaps is about to pay off for the Royals.
After a 7-1 loss to the Blue Jays in Game 5 of the AL Championship Series on Wednesday, the Royals will return to Kauffman Stadium for Game 6 on Friday (7 p.m. ET air time on FOX Sports 1/Sportsnet, 8 p.m. ET game time) with a chance to secure a spot in the World Series.
Sure, the Royals would have preferred to have eliminated the Blue Jays on Wednesday. But they really weren't viewing it as a massive missed opportunity.
"Nothing slipped away," third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "We faced a good team and a good pitcher, and got beat. It's that simple. We're still up 3-2 in the series and now we go home. We know we play well there."
This is true: Kansas City had the league's third-best home record at 51-30, behind only Houston (53-28) and Toronto (53-28).
"I can say without bias that Kauffman Stadium is the loudest place in baseball," reliever Danny Duffy said. "No disrespect to other fans, but Kauffman Stadium is the loudest. And that gets us fired up."
The Royals also have won four straight postseason games this season at Kauffman Stadium.
"It's just a place that gets us all fired up," right-hander Edinson Volquez said. "It's great that we're coming home."
Added Eric Hosmer, "It's just the energy they give us at home. It's so loud and they never let up. It makes us not want to let up, either."
Most of Kansas City's players said they figured this would be a series that would go deep anyway.
"These are two good teams who play hard," right fielder Alex Rios said. "You know it's going to be a fight. Each team is playing its best and you know it's tough to win."
Royals manager Ned Yost also figured it would come down to a Game 6 or Game 7.
"Again, we knew it was going to be a tough series," Yost said. "But after winning the first two games, in reality your goal is to come to Toronto, in kind of a foreign environment, a hostile environment, and at least win one. Then, you get to go home and win one there and the series is over.
"Now, we're going back to a place where we're completely comfortable. That's why home field was so important to us. We really wanted to play four games in our park. And we're taking a [3-2 lead] back to where we are comfortable and back to our home fans that support us and are fantastic."