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Royals tip caps to talented Blue Jays team

KANSAS CITY -- One by one, Royals players, coaches and front-office personnel saluted the Blue Jays for a tough and competitive series.

"That is one excellent team," general manager Dayton Moore said after Friday's 4-3 victory that closed out the American League Championship Series. "They play hard and with a lot of passion. It was an exciting series."

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Royals scout Gene Watson took it one step further.

"This is a championship-caliber team they have in Toronto," Watson said as he sprayed champagne in the clubhouse. "Seriously, that team could easily win a championship. You come back and play this series again, and you never know -- they could have won it."

Center fielder Lorenzo Cain said the Blue Jays gave them all they could handle.

"There's just a lot of talent over there," Cain said. "They know how to play, they know how to win. This was a hard-fought series."

Reliever Ryan Madson, who gave up a tying two-run homer to Jose Bautista in the eighth inning Friday, said he has tremendous respect for Toronto.

"They're so tough offensively," Madson said. "You can't make mistakes to them or they'll make you pay. We knew that going in. They got me again tonight."

Even Royals owner David Glass tipped his hat.

"The Blue Jays gave us everything they had," Glass said, "and we gave them everything we had. That's what made it so fun. It was nerve-racking but fun. Just a very competitive series between two teams with a lot of talent."

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.
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