With a win this afternoon in Toronto, the Kansas City Royals can earn their second straight trip to the World Series. Will the Jays allow them to win the American League Championship in the Rogers Centre, or can they win today's matchup and take the ALCS back to Kauffman Stadium for a Game 6? Marco Estrada takes the mound for the AL East champs this afternoon in Game 5 against Royals' right-hander Edinson Volquez at 4:00 PM EDT.
Volquez, 32, was (13-9) in 34 games and 33 starts in the regular season, posting a 3.55 ERA, 3.82 FIP, 72 walks (3.23 BB/9) and 155 Ks (6.96 K/9) in 200 ⅓ IP over which he held opposing hitters to a combined .251/.320/.372 line.
In his start in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Volquez threw six scoreless innings, giving up two hits and four walks but no runs in a 5-0 win for the Royals.
Royals' skipper Ned Yost told reporters yesterday that he hopes Volquez can be as good as he was in his previous outing as they try to end the series this afternoon.
"You hope that he can be," Yost said. "He's proven that he's capable of doing it. That's why this game is so wonderful, it's not a cookie cutter game. You don't know what you're going to get until you get out there, find out what's working and how your command is, and if you're duplicating your mechanics, and being able to repeat. We'll find out tomorrow."
Estrada, also 32, was (13-8) in the regular season, with a 3.13 ERA, 4.40 FIP, 55 walks (2.73 BB/9) and 131 Ks (6.51 K/9) in 34 games, 28 starts and 181 IP over which opposing hitters had a .203/.269/.364 line.
He took the loss in Game 1 of the ALCS matchup, giving up six hits and three runs in 5 ⅓ innings on the mound.
Jays' skipper John Gibbons said on Tuesday that he hoped his team would come through in a must-win Game 5.
"There's no doubt it's a big challenge," Gibbons said. "It's a do or die game for us. But they do it all year. I think these guys will let this one go and they'll show up to play tomorrow.
"The key is get a good outing out of Marco and we'll see where it takes us. Not a more important game this season, really. I know these guys will be ready."
Game 5 starts at 4:00 PM EDT in Toronto. Here are the lineups...
|KANSAS CITY ROYALS||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Alcides Escobar - SS||Ben Revere - LF|
|Ben Zobrist - 2B||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|Lorenzo Cain - CF||Jose Bautista - RF|
|Eric Hosmer - 1B||Edwin Encarnacion - DH|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Chris Colabello - 1B|
|Mike Moustakas - 3B||Troy Tulowitzki - SS|
|Salvador Perez - C||Dioner Navarro - C|
|Alex Gordon - LF||Kevin Pillar - CF|
|Alex Rios - RF||Ryan Goins - 2B|
|Edinson Volquez - RHP||Marco Estrada - RHP|
Estrada vs the Royals:
Volquez vs the Blue Jays: