KANSAS CITY, Mo. - David Price was well on his way to taking what he had called the "monkey" off his back.
The 30-year-old lefthander took a three-run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning Saturday afternoon and was cruising toward his first career postseason victory as a starter, having thrown only 66 pitches and retired 18 straight.
But Ben Zobrist's bloop single, which should have been an out, sparked an astounding rally by the Royals, who sent nine to the plate in a five-run inning that sparked them to a 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays in Game 2 of the ALCS in front of 40,357 at Kauffman Stadium.
"The blame should go on me today," said Toronto second baseman Ryan Goins, who waved as if he were going to catch Zobrist's ball before suddenly pulling back as it dropped in front of rightfielder Jose Bautista. "I gave them that play to start that rally."
The Royals, who trailed in each of their three ALDS victories over the Astros, including the deciding Game 5, took a 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven series.
"It's just one of those things," Eric Hosmer said of the Royals' propensity for come-from-behind victories this postseason. "We've done it before. Why not do it again?"
Game 3 is Monday night at Rogers Centre. Former Patchogue-Medford star Marcus Stroman will start for the Jays, who lost the first two games of their ALDS against the Rangers before winning three straight, and will be opposed by Royals righthander Johnny Cueto.
"It's a lot tougher from here," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, whose team got the tying run on in the ninth against Wade Davis but saw Ben Revere, Josh Donaldson and Bautista retired to end it. "But we have a pretty good team, too."
It looked that way through six innings as Toronto built a 3-0 lead, tagging Yordano Ventura for three runs and eight hits in 51/3 innings.
Price, 0-6 with a 5.23 ERA in postseason starts entering the afternoon, allowed five runs and six hits in 62/3 innings. He had struck out seven and allowed two hits entering the seventh.
"I felt good," Price said. "I felt good with all my pitches."
That changed quickly.
Zobrist broke the string of 18 straight retired by leading off the seventh with a pop-up to short right. Goins charged back, signaling as if he would catch it, then didn't.
"I thought I heard an 'I got it,' but it was nothing," said a despondent Goins, who nonetheless stood and took every question. "I should have gone after it more aggressively . . . That was kind of the turning point of the game."
"He's done a lot, he's made a lot of great plays for all the pitchers," Price said in absolving Goins. "That's baseball, that's just part of it. Good things are going to happen. I know they are."
Price said Goins' play had no impact on him, but the immediate change suggested otherwise.
After Lorenzo Cain -- last year's ALCS MVP in a sweep of the Orioles -- lined a single to right, Hosmer's single to left made it 3-1 and put runners at the corners. Kendrys Morales grounded to short to drive in a run and Mike Moustakas sent a 2-and-2 changeup to right for an RBI single that tied it at 3-3. Salvador Perez struck out looking for the second out, but Alex Gordon swatted a full-count, 95-mph fastball into the gap in right-center for an RBI double that gave the Royals a 4-3 lead and fired up the sellout crowd.
No. 9 hitter Alex Rios greeted righthander Aaron Sanchez with an RBI single back up the middle that made it 5-3.
Moustakas added a two-out RBI single in the eighth.