TORONTO – The Johnny Cueto who dazzled over eight innings of two-run ball in Kansas City’s Game 5 win over Houston in the ALDS clearly did not make the trip to Toronto.
Cueto didn’t make it out of the third inning of Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday as the Toronto Blue Jays’ offense returned to form with the series shifting to the Rogers Centre. The Royals starting pitcher was pulled with a runner at second and none out in the inning after giving up seven runs to the Blue Jays in two innings of work, including a three-run homer to Troy Tulowitzki in the third. The Toronto crowd serenaded Cueto with sing-song chants of his name as he walked toward the dugout.
It might not have mattered who took the mound for Kansas City, though. With Kris Medlen pitching, Josh Donaldson drove a ball into the seats in left field for a two-run shot to raise Toronto’s run total to nine and make it eight earned runs charged to Cueto.
[On this week’s StewPod: Francisco Lindor on the ROY vote, the playoffs and his suit game]
The final numbers mean Cueto made some history he won’t be proud to see his name next to.
Yikes. Cueto retired three of the four Blue Jays he faced in the first inning, but went on to allow 11 of the next 13 to reach base before getting the hook. For Toronto, there was no better way to state that they’re far from done, even after losing the first two games of the series on the road, than to knock Cueto out of the game early.
The win in the ALDS clincher was easily the high point of Cueto’s time with Kansas City after a rocky second half following a mid-season trade from Cincinnati. We’ve found our new low point.
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