TORONTO — For their fans, but mostly for the Blue Jays themselves — whethe

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TORONTO For their fans, but mostly for the Blue Jays themselves whether they admit it or not raw concern about how much longer the American League Championship Series will last arrived like a fast-moving front in <a href="">Marwin Gonzalez Jersey</a> the seventh inning on Tuesday.Without a ticket, it had shown up at Rogers Centre earlier in the day, when Toronto starter R.A. Dickey struggled, his knuckleball getting smacked.MORE: | But undisguised worry grumbling from the crowd, for instance didnt take a seat until Game 4 of the ALCS completely fell apart for the Jays.The disintegration was eventually so complete, what with the Royals scoring nine runs in the last three innings and the Jays , that it might be foolhardy to say the Jays were ever in it.They were, though and it was to that vine they desperately clung after the game.Win the next game or go home, said catcher Ru sell Martin, and I dont feel like going home yet.So we might as well win three in a row. Its happened.By all the usual yardsticks, of course like, uh, the game was won easily by Kansas City. But the reality is that the Royals spent several innings wondering if their offense had stalled after an early 5-0 lead.The Jays <a href="">Michael Pineda Jersey</a> scored the next two runs, getting to Royalsstarter Chris Young for a pair in the third. That pumped up a crowd that didnt need much prompting to make noise.And when relief pitcher Liam Hendriks kept the Royals off the scoreboard from the third through the sixth, the feeling the Jays were still in it, with a chance to tie the series at two games each, was palpably present . . .. . . Only to thoroughly vanish in the seventh when LaTroy Hawkins walked on four pitches the first batter he faced, allowed a single on a 1-2 pitch to the second batter he faced, and a bases-loading single on an0-2 pitch to the third.Notice whats mi sing?No names are needed as to who the hitters were. These Royals are an interchangeably balanced bunch <a href="">Harmon Killebrew Jersey</a> . If one doesnt do some damage, the next one will.By the time the inning was over, their 5-2 lead had grown to double digits opening the doors to this reality: If the Royals win again on Wednesday, the series is over.Or more ominously for Toronto, if the Royals win any of the next three games, theyll participate in their second consecutive World Series.There could soon be the only Leafs, Raptors <a href="">Minnesota Twins Jersey</a> , Argos and Toronto FC for the good fans here to support, now that the awarene s of elimination has applied its grip.As punctuating as Kansas Citys later runs were, though their four in the seventh, three in the eighth and two in the ninth the initial trench was dug by Dickey.He throws a funky pitch, as you know. The knuckleball has never been totally predictable for anyone who throws it and while it can be frustrating for hitters when it is dancing, it is a gift when its not.Theres never really a way of knowing, from one start to the next, how its going to perform.What Ive noticed these three years with R.A., Jaysmanager John Gibbons said, somewhat prophetically, before the game, is that he can come and go from hitter to hitter.Hell have a inning when its untouchable, then an inning where it flattens out.This time, however, it was a combination of two touchable innings. Dickey didnt get <a href="">Rod Carew Jersey</a> through the second.And while the Jays impre sively huffed and puffed at getting back into it, using Hendriks excellent relief appearance as the foundation for their hope, it was a drubbing that occurred not a comeback.The Jays needed more from Dickey than they got, plain and simple <a href="">Erick Aybar Jersey</a> . On a big stage, he pitched his team into the orchestra pit.I put us in a hole, he said. Time to turn the page quickly.As in instantly. Theres no wiggle room left.The Royals are one win away from proving what many suspected: that, all along, theyve been the more complete team.Tom Gage is a Hall of Fame baseball writer, having won the J.G. Taylor Spink Award this year, the highest honor in the profe sion. Gage covered the Tigers for the Detroit News for 36 years (1979-2014).

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