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Royals put Blue Jays on the brink of elimination

The Canadian Press | posted Wednesday, Oct 21st, 2015

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The Kansas City Royals hammered R.A. Dickey early then feasted on Toronto’s depleted bullpen, pushing the Blue Jays to the brink of playoff elimination with a 14-2 victory in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.

The Royals now lead the best-of-seven series 3-1 and can move on to the World Series with a win tomorrow afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Game 5 goes Wednesday with Toronto’s Marco Estrada facing Edinson Volquez in a rematch of Game 1 at Kauffman Stadium.

“We’ll be fine (Wednesday) if we get a good outing by Marco. We expect to,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said hopefully. “And it was ugly today, no doubt about that. That’s all I can say.”

Dickey was saddled with the loss in the shortest start in Jays post-season history after being shelled for five runs, four earned, over 1 2/3 innings.

The veteran knuckleballer gave up a pair of home runs among his four hits — a two-run homer to Ben Zobrist in Kansas City’s four-run first and a solo shot to former Jay Alex Rios in the second.

After Toronto’s Liam Hendriks pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, the Royals started beating up the Jays again in the seventh.

LaTroy Hawkins loaded the bases with none out, and reliever Ryan Tepera couldn’t get out the jam as Kansas City scored four runs to go up 9-2.

Tepera was tagged for three more runs in the eighth as fans at Rogers Centre made their way en masse toward the exits.

Game 5 on Wednesday is at 4 p.m. in Toronto.

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