DYK: KC sets mark with 4-run 1st, 4 sac flies
The Royals' offensive onslaught continued Tuesday evening, as Kansas City cruised to a 14-2 victory in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, putting the Blue Jays on the brink of elimination.
It's been an historic week for the Royals' offense. And no game dented the record books quite like Tuesday's win, which gave Kansas City a commanding 3-1 series lead heading into Wednesday's must-win Game 5 for Toronto (3 p.m. airtime on FOX Sports 1/Sportsnet, 4 p.m. game time).
Here are 10 critical facts and figures you need to know about Game 4.
• The Royals pounced on Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey right away, becoming the first team in history to score four times in the top of the first inning of an ALCS game.
• When Alex Rios added a fifth run with a solo shot in the second inning, the Royals became just the third team in history to score five runs or more in six straight games within the same postseason. The 1987 Twins scored 5-plus in seven straight games, and the 2005 White Sox did so six times. The Royals also joined those '87 Twins and the 2010 Rangers as the only teams to score five runs in each of the first four games of an ALCS.
• The Royals are the third team to score at least 33 runs in their first four games of the League Championship Series. The first two? Well, they went on to lose those series rather famously. The 2003 Cubs scored 33 runs in the first four games, before dropping three straight to the Marlins. A year later, the Yankees plated 36 in their first four games against the Red Sox, but famously became the first team in baseball history to give away a 3-0 series lead.
• Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Royals' offense is that it always seems to find a way to scratch runs across. On Tuesday, Kansas City plated four runs on sacrifice flies, becoming the first team in postseason history to do so. Only twice before had any team even recorded three sac flies in the same playoff game.
• So who's the last team to win a series after dropping Game 4 of an ALCS at home to fall behind 3-1? Well, that would be the Kansas City Royals in 1985 -- against Toronto, no less. In fact, the daunting task facing the Blue Jays is eerily similar to the one the Royals overcame in '85. Kansas City won Game 5 at home, before winning two on the road to advance to the World Series.
• The 14 runs scored by Kansas City are the most by the Royals in a playoff game, surpassing the previous mark set in their 11-0 Game 7 victory in the 1985 World Series. Tuesday's 12-run margin of victory is also the biggest in franchise history and tied for the largest in an ALCS game. (The 1999 Red Sox beat the Yankees, 13-1, in Game 3.)
• Dickey is the 36th pitcher to allow at least five runs in less than two innings pitched in a postseason game. As you'd expect, teams that get such shaky outings from their starting pitchers haven't fared very well. They're now 3-33.
• Russell Martin has 12 passed balls in 134 2/3 innings this year when he's catching the knuckleballer Dickey (including the postseason). Martin's previous high for passed balls in an entire season was nine with the Yankees in 2012 -- and that was over a span of 1,045 innings behind the dish.
• Lorenzo Cain became only the second player in postseason history to record at least two hits, two walks, three RBIs and a stolen base in a game. Shane Victorino, who went 2-for-3 with two walks, three RBIs and a stolen base for the Phillies in Game 3 of the 2009 NLCS, is the only other player to accomplish the feat.
• With back-to-back 15-hit games, the Royals have now recorded multiple 15-hit games in consecutive postseasons. They're the only franchise in history to have done so. (Last year, Kansas City picked up 15 hits in the AL Wild Card Game and Game 6 of the World Series.) Only four previous teams had recorded 15 hits in two straight games, most recently the 2007 Red Sox.