KC's 4-run top of first an ALCS record
Zobrist's 2-run HR off Dickey highlights early outburst
TORONTO -- The Royals jumped out to an early lead against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre en route to a 14-2 win in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday afternoon, posting a four-run first inning highlighted by Ben Zobrist's two-run homer. The four runs are the most scored in the top of the first in an ALCS game.
Spark plug Alcides Escobar continued his hot-hitting ways by placing a bunt down the third-base line for a leadoff base hit and is 9-for-15 (.600) in the series. Escobar, who went 2-for-3 with four RBIs in Game 4, is the first player to lead off the first inning with a hit in each of the first four games of an LCS. Moments later, Zobrist deposited the fourth pitch of the game into the right-center-field stands for a 2-0 advantage. Each of the second baseman's past four hits have been of the extra-base variety.
The Royals weren't done, as Lorenzo Cain drew a walk and, after advancing to third on Eric Hosmer's single, dashed home on a passed ball by Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin and was deemed safe. Toronto challenged the play, but the call stood, and a fourth run came in on Mike Moustakas' ensuing sacrifice fly.
"Right from the beginning, [Escobar] with a beautiful bunt and then [Zobrist] put the ball in the seats and kind of opened up a bit of a crack," Royals manager Ned Yost said in an in-game interview with FOX Sports 1. "But it's important, you score four in the first, you've got to tack on. We did one in the second and will have to continue to do so."
Alex Rios led off the second with a home run to center off Dickey, who lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits and two walks.
Kansas City holds a 3-1 lead and can secure a return trip to the World Series on Wednesday (3 p.m. ET air time on FOX Sports 1 and Sportsnet, 4 p.m. game time).