Blue Jays try to force deciding Game 7 vs Royals in ALCS

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Kansas City Royals have established a reputation for dramatic postseason comebacks the past couple of years, beginning with last season's wild-card victory over Oakland.

Turns out, the Toronto Blue Jays have some never-say-quit spirit as well.

After going on a second-half run to make the playoffs, then rallying from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Texas in a best-of-five matchup, the Blue Jays will try to beat the Royals in another win-or-else situation in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series on Friday night.

Toronto forced the series back to Kansas City with a 7-1 rout on Wednesday, closing to 3-2.

"You look at all the elimination games, our offense has really come to life," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Thursday. "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."

David Price will take the mound for the Blue Jays after his collapse in Game 2, when he tossed six shutout innings and then surrendered five runs in the seventh.

Yordano Ventura will oppose him for Kansas City. He was only marginally better, allowing three runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings before watching the comeback win from the dugout.

"I'm very fortunate and happy that this game has landed on my turn, here in Kansas City, and with the opportunity to take this club to the World Series," Ventura said through catching coach Pedro Grifol, acting as a translator. "I'll be ready for this game."

The Blue Jays promise they will be, too.

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Royals vs. Blue Jays ALCS
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Blue Jays try to force deciding Game 7 vs Royals in ALCS
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Championship Series, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez watches his home run during the fourth inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez, left, rounds the base after hitting a home run as Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marco Estrada looks away during the fourth inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Luke Hochevar, left, and catcher Salvador Perez celebrate their 5-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price throws against the Kansas City Royals during the second inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, right, makes a one-handed grab of a foul ball as home plate umpire Laz Diaz rules it a dead ball during the sixth inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Toronto Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson slides into home plate to score on an RBI single by Edwin Encarnacion during the sixth inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 17: Ben Zobrist #18 of the Kansas City Royals hits a single in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during game two of the American League Championship Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 17, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello, left, picks off Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain at first base during the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher David Price, front right, reacts after being taken out during the seventh inning of Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista reacts after striking out against the Kansas City Royals to end the top of the seventh inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera, left,and third baseman Mike Moustakas celebrates after the end of the top of the eighth inning in Game 2 of baseball's American League Championship Series Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 19: Marcus Stroman #6 of the Toronto Blue Jays throws the first pitch of Game 3 of the ALCS against the Kansas City Royals at the Rogers Centre on Monday, October 19, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jon Blacker/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Troy Tulowitzki #2 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates after hitting a three-run home run in the third inning against the Kansas City Royals during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19: Ben Revere #7 of the Toronto Blue Jays is safe at first base in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals during game three of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2015 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Kansas City Royals right fielder Alex Rios catches a fly ball hit by Toronto Blue Jays' Justin Smoak during the eighth inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Toronto Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar, left, scores past Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez on a hit by Ryan Goins during the second inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Roberto Osuna and catcher Russell Martin celebrates their 11-8 win against the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey throws against the Kansas City Royals during the first inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain scores past Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey on a passed ball during the first inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals' Ben Zobrist watches his two run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista hits a single against the Kansas City Royals during the sixth inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar reacts to a two run single by Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain during the eighth inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Members of the Kansas City Royals celebrate their 14-2 win against the Toronto Blue Jays during Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Tim Donnelly)
Toronto Blue Jays' Chris Colabello rounds the bases after a home run off Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Edinson Volquez during the second inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Kansas City Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain get get a glove on a RBI double by Toronto Blue Jays' Kevin Pillar during the eighth inning in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marco Estrada celebrates after their 7-1 win against the Kansas City Royals in Game 5 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Toronto. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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Toronto lost the first two games against the Rangers at home, then won three straight with its season hanging in the balance. The first two were at Texas, and the last at Rogers Centre, but none of the victories was even close - all by at least three runs.

The Blue Jays lost the first two games in Kansas City, too. But in Game 3 in Toronto, the hosts overcame a 1-0 deficit and rolled to an 11-8 victory.

"We've been through a bunch of hurdles all year," Blue Jays outfielder Chris Colabello said. "We were 7 1/2 games (back) at the deadlines. ... We had to claw back from that. We were down two games back in the division series and we clawed back from that. I'll tell you what, we're going to leave everything we have out there."

They may have to do just that. While the Blue Jays have won four straight elimination games, the Royals are 6-2 in their last eight postseason games at Kauffman Stadium.

Make no mistake, either: The ballpark matters in this series.

While the homer-happy Blue Jays were built with the small dimensions of Rogers Centre in mind, the speedy, defensive-minded Royals were built for their home park.

Not surprisingly, the Blue Jays failed to homer in the first two games of the ALCS in Kansas City, but hit four long balls in Toronto, including three in Game 3.

"Nothing but positivity. We've got a 3-2 lead and we're heading back to Kansas City," Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "That's where we play our best baseball, so everyone is still feeling pretty good about the series."

The big question in Game 6 is which starting pitchers will show up.

For the Blue Jays, will it be the Price who was dominant for six innings earlier this series, recording 18 straight outs at one point? Or the rattled former Cy Young Award winner who, when an easy popup fell for a single, proceeded to allow five runs in defeat, falling to 0-7 in seven career playoff starts?

"I know what I'm capable of doing and I think everybody in this room knows what I'm capable of doing," he said. "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 tomorrow."

For the Royals, will it be the Ventura who tossed seven innings of three-hit ball in the must-win Game 6 of last year's World Series? Or the shaky 24-year-old who has a 6.57 ERA in the postseason, and who was far from perfect in his first try against Toronto?

"I'm just happy to be able to bring the series back home to Kansas City," he said, "and I'll be ready tomorrow to pitch and perform for my club."

TOP 25 MLB POSTSEASON HEROES OF THE LAST 25 YEARS:

26 PHOTOS
Top 25 MLB playoff heroes of the last 25 years
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Blue Jays try to force deciding Game 7 vs Royals in ALCS

25. Jack Morris, Minnesota Twins (1991)

(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

24. Kirby Puckett, Minnesota Twins (1991)

(Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)

23. Troy Glaus, Anaheim Angels (2002)

(Photo by Robert Lachman/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

22. David Freese, St. Louis Cardinals (2011)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

21. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies (2010)

(Photo by: Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)

20. Hideki Matsui, New York Yankees (2009)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

19. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals (2004-06, 2011)

(Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

18. Dave Roberts, Boston Red Sox (2004)

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

17. Manny Ramirez, Boston Red Sox (2004, 2007)

(Photo by Brad Mangin/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

16. Andrew Miller, Cleveland Indians (2016)

(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

15. Randy Johnson, Arizona Diamondbacks (2001)

(Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT)

14. Edgar Renteria, Florida Marlins (1997)

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

13. Aaron Boone, New York Yankees (2003)

(Photo by Allen Kee/WireImage)

12. Carlos Beltran, Houston Astros (2004)

(Photo By Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

11. Josh Beckett, Florida Marlins (2003)

(Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

10. Barry Bonds, San Francisco Giants (2002)

(TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

9. Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants (2012, 2014)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

8. Luis Gonzalex, Arizona Diamondbacks (2001)

(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

7. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants (2014)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

6. Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees (1998-2003)

(JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

5. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (2004, 2007, 2013)

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

4. Joe Carter, Toronto Blue Jays (1993)

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

3. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees (1996-2006, 2009-2012)

Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images)

2. Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees (1996-2007, 2009-2011)

(Todd Warshaw via Getty Images)

1. Curt Schilling, Arizona Diamondbacks & Boston Red Sox (2001, 2004)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

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