KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City, time to meet the Mets.
Behind a show of power early and some alert baserunning late, the Royals sent the Blue Jays home for the winter with a 4-3 victory in ALCS Game 6 Friday night in front of a white-towel-waving sellout crowd of 40,494 at Kauffman Stadium that rarely sat down.
The American League champion Royals will face the National League champion Mets in the 111th World Series beginning Tuesday night in Kansas City. It will be the second straight World Series appearance for the Royals, who lost to the Giants in seven games in 2014.
"They're going to be an incredible opponent,'' Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "A lot of power and a team that's really hot. They're getting a lot of big hits and it's going to be an incredible series and we're just honored to be able to play them."
After the Blue Jays' Jose Bautista shocked the crowd with a two-run homer that tied it at 3-3 in the top of the eighth, and after a 45-minute rain delay, Lorenzo Cain led off the bottom of the eighth with a walk against Toronto closer Roberto Osuna.
Eric Hosmer singled down the rightfield line and Bautista got to the ball quickly. But when he almost nonchalantly threw the ball to second instead of hitting the cutoff man, Cain never slowed down and was waved in by third-base coach Mike Jirschele, scoring easily to make it 4-3.
"Once I saw him waving me, I was a little shocked,'' Cain said, "but I trust Jirsh to the fullest. He's been making good calls all year long. I didn't hesitate, I didn't stop, didn't panic and continued to hustle."
Said Jirschele: "As soon as he got to second base, I said, 'I'm sending him.' With Lorenzo Cain running, it's going to take a perfect throw to second and a perfect throw to home, and you're going to take your chances on that."
Jirschele said the Royals' scouting reports talked about the Blue Jays immediately throwing into second on plays like that and added, "I've seen Bautista do it this whole series."
Said Bautista, "I felt like I cut it off quick enough to where if I threw to second, I could prevent him from going to second and Cain from scoring, but I was wrong."
Wade Davis -- whom many a second-guesser had wanted Ned Yost to use in the eighth instead of Ryan Madson, who gave up Bautista's homer -- came on for the ninth and wound up pitching out of a first-and-third, none-out jam. Said Yost, "I knew Wade has that extra gear he finds in those situations and, boy, did he find it."
After Davis allowed a leadoff single by Russell Martin, pinch runner Dalton Pompey stole second and third. Kevin Pillar walked and stole second as pinch hitter Dioner Navarro struck out. But Ben Revere struck out and Josh Donaldson grounded to third to end it.
Said Yost, "Our guys from the first day of spring training, their focus was to get back to the World Series, and they accomplished that tonight."
After Kelvin Herrera pitched 12/3 hitless innings and lifted his strikeout total to 16 in 82/3 innings in this postseason, Yost brought in Madson for the eighth to protect a 3-1 lead. The righthander allowed an infield single by Revere but Donaldson struck out, bringing Bautista to the plate with the Royals five outs away from reaching the World Series.
Bautista, who hit one halfway to St. Louis in the fourth off Yordano Ventura, fell behind 0-and-1 before driving a fastball down the leftfield line just fair for his fourth homer of the postseason and a 3-3 tie.
As Cain prepared to lead off the bottom of the eighth against Sanchez, a Midwestern rainstorm blew in, and crew chief John Hirschbeck called for the tarp at 10:01 local time. It resumed at 10:46.
Ventura, backed by solo homers by Ben Zobrist and Mike Moustakas, allowed one run and four hits in 51/3 innings.
Blue Jays starter David Price, 0-7 with a 5.44 ERA in seven career postseason starts, was terrific. The 30-year-old lefthander allowed three runs, five hits and a walk in 62/3 innings, striking out eight.
The last of those runs came in the seventh when Aaron Sanchez allowed an inherited runner to score, giving up a two-out single by Alex Rios that made it 3-1 before Bautista tied it.
The Royals' Alcides Escobar, who went 11-for-23 and set a postseason record by getting a leadoff hit in the first four games of the series -- seeing a total of six pitches in that span -- was named MVP of the series.