Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) tags out Toronto Blue Jays Kevin Pillar at third base during the eighth inning in the ALCS game 5 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada on October 21, 2015. Pillar's hit scored teammate Troy Tulowitzki on the play. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
The Toronto Blue Jays will try to beat the Royals and the weather Friday night in Kansas City to force Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.
The Blue Jays stayed alive in the best-of-seven series with a 7-1 victory in Game 5 on Wednesday in Toronto. A chance of rain is in the forecast for Friday, though the storm could move out of the area before game time.
Both teams fell behind in the first round of the postseason and rallied to advance.
The Royals were on the brink of losing their best-of-five American League Division Series when they were down 6-2 to the Houston Astros in Game 4. However, Kansas City came back to win that game 9-6, then posted a 7-2 win in Game 5.
The Blue Jays trailed the Texas Rangers 2-0 in their ALDS before erasing the deficit and moving on. More recently, after losing the first two games to Kansas City, Toronto battled back to pull within 3-2 in the ALCS.
Getting pushed to the brink seems to bring out the best in the Blue Jays.
"You look at all the elimination games, our offense has really come to life," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We've said all along that's the key to our team, scoring runs. You hate to make a habit of it, but maybe we can pull it off again."
Facing elimination for the second time in the ALCS, the Blue Jays will send left-hander David Price to the mound in Game 6 to face Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura.
Price took the loss in Game 1 when he gave up five runs in the seventh inning after shutting out the Royals until then. He is now 0-7 as a starter during his career in the playoffs.
"I know what I'm capable of doing, and I think everybody in this room knows what I'm capable of doing," Price said. "I think I just kind of want to do it too bad. And it's long overdue for me to get a win as a starter in the playoffs, and I'll be ready to change that story (Friday)."
Ventura and the Royals will be looking to secure a World Series berth with a win in their home park. Ventura left the opening game of the ALCS after giving up three runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
"Very fortunate and happy that this game has landed on my turn here in Kansas City and with the opportunity for me to take this club to the World Series," Ventura said. "And I'll be ready for (Friday's) game."
Royals manager Ned Yost feels good about sending Ventura to the mound. The 24-year-old has started seven playoff games the past two seasons for Kansas City.
"He keeps us in the game," Yost said. "He's got a lot of confidence in his abilities, he's got a lot of confidence in his stuff, and you know the moment is not going to overwhelm him.
"He's gotten past all that. He's learned some great lessons this year about how to handle adversity and how to be a No. 1 guy. We saw it last year during the playoffs, just kind of found a way to take his game to just a little bit of a different level. We expect him to do that (Friday night)."
Gibbons thinks his team is in a good frame of mind after the Game 5 win.
"Well, it got us back here," he said. "That's huge for the morale. Well, really, we had to have it. We just felt great getting it.
"Our goal, of course, was to bring it back to Kansas City. We did that. And we're riding high right now. But we always ride high, if you want to know the truth. We don't always win, but we feel good."