The Latest: Blue Jays relievers OK, ready for Game 4 of ALCS

The latest on the League Championship Series. The Royals routed Toronto 14-2 to take a 3-1 lead in the ALCS. The Mets and Cubs play Game 3 of the NLCS in Chicago with a scheduled start of 8:07 p.m. Here's a look at what's happening (all times EDT):

11:30 p.m.

The New York Mets and Kansas City Royals are one win away from meeting in the World Series.

Daniel Murphy homered for a record-tying fifth straight playoff game, sending Jacob deGrom and the Mets over the Chicago Cubs 5-2 on Tuesday night for a 3-0 lead in the National League Championship Series.

Yoenis Cespedes and David Wright had three hits apiece for the Mets. Cespedes scored the go-ahead run on a two-out wild pitch by Trevor Cahill on a strikeout of Michael Conforto in the sixth inning.

Kansas City grabbed a 3-1 lead in the AL Championship Series with a 14-2 victory over Toronto. Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer, and Alcides Escobar drove in four runs.

The Royals send Edinson Volquez to the mound on Wednesday for Game 5 against Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays. The Mets and Cubs also play on Wednesday, with rookie Steven Matz starting for New York against Jason Hammel.

---

10:10 p.m.

Wrigley Field helped the Chicago Cubs in a major way in Game 3 of the NL Championship Series.

With two out in the sixth inning and Michael Conforto of the Mets on first, Wilmer Flores hit a liner that skipped by diving right fielder Jorge Soler and went all the way to the wall. The ball disappeared into the famous Ivy that covers the outfield at the iconic ballpark, and center fielder Dexter Fowler threw his hands up to signal it was gone.

The ground rule for a ball that disappears into the Ivy gave a double to Flores and sent Conforto back to third even though he would have scored easily on the play. Mets manager Terry Collins then came out to argue with home plate umpire Ted Barrett, but the play stood.

Pitcher Jacob deGrom then flied out, ending the inning. The Mets had a 3-2 lead heading into the seventh.

---

9:42 p.m.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo visited the oncology floor of the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago on the morning of Game 3 of the NL Championship Series.

Rizzo handed out Cubs hats, teddy bears and rally towels, and also signed autographs and posed for pictures. The visit was for the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, which helps raise money for cancer research and provides help for families affected by the disease.

---

8:40 p.m.

Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber hit his fifth homer of the playoffs in the first inning of Game 3 of the NL Championship Series, breaking the franchise record for a single postseason.

Schwarber connected for a solo drive off Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, tying it at 1. Schwarber was tied with Alex Gonzalez and Aramis Ramirez in 2003 for the team's playoff mark.

---

8:11 p.m.

Game 3 of the National League Championship Series is underway at Wrigley Field. Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks threw a called strike to Mets right fielder Curtis Granderson on the first pitch at 7:07 p.m. CT.

It's the latest calendar date for a major league game at Wrigley. Before Tuesday night, the latest date had been Oct. 15, 2003, for Game 7 of the NLCS against the Marlins.

The gametime temperature was 72 degrees, a marked change from the cold temperatures for the first two games in New York.

---

7:49 p.m.

The Kansas City Royals have finished off their 14-2 romp in Toronto, moving within one win of a return trip to the World Series.

Ben Zobrist and Alex Rios homered early off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey and the Royals poured it on late to take a 3-1 edge over the Blue Jays.

Kansas City can win the best-of-seven series Wednesday when Edinson Volquez starts against Toronto's Marco Estrada.

Fans at Rogers Centre cheered when Blue Jays infielder Cliff Pennington relieved with two outs in the ninth inning, becoming the first primarily position player to pitch in the postseason, STATS said. He gave up two singles before getting the final out.

---

7:21 p.m.

The Kansas City Royals blew open Game 4 of the ALCS by scoring four runs in the seventh inning and three more in the eighth, taking a 12-2 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Alcides Escobar had a sacrifice fly in each inning, two of the four Kansas City sacrifice flies in the game.

Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI single in the seventh, Eric Hosmer also had a sacrifice fly and a fourth run scored on a wild pitch by Ryan Tepera.

Tepera left after Cain's two-run single in the eighth.

Over the two innings, the Royals scored seven runs on seven hits.

---

6:43 p.m.

Mets manager Terry Collins says Matt Harvey is feeling a lot better and it looks as if the ace right-hander will be ready for Game 5 of the NL Championship Series if necessary.

Harvey threw in the outfield at Wrigley Field on Monday and was expected to throw a side session before Game 3 against Chicago on Tuesday night. He was struck near his pitching shoulder by a comebacker in the series opener on Saturday night, leading to some swelling and discomfort.

The Mets had a 2-0 lead in the series heading into Tuesday night's game. Harvey allowed two runs and four hits in 7 2-3 innings in New York's 4-2 win in Game 1.

---

6:07 p.m.

Kansas City starter Chris Young was yanked from Game 4 of the ALCS with two outs in the fifth and the Royals leading the Blue Jays 5-2.

Luke Hochevar replaced Young after Ben Revere's two-out single. Hochevar ended the inning by getting Josh Donaldson to foul out to first.

The 6 foot-10 Young, whose only previous postseason start came with San Diego in 2006, left one out shy of qualifying for his second playoff win.

Toronto manager John Gibbons removed knuckleballer R.A. Dickey with two outs in the fifth in Game 4 of the Division Series despite the Blue Jays holding a six-run lead. David Price came on in relief and pitched three innings for the win.

---

5:25 p.m.

Josh Donaldson got those towels twirling at Rogers Centre in the third inning with an RBI, ground-rule double. The Blue Jays were hitless against Chris Young until Ryan Goins singled with one out in the third. The 6-foot-10 Young then walked Ben Revere before Donaldson ripped an 83 mph slider down the left-field line and Goins scored. Revere scored on Josh Donaldson's grounder to make it 5-2.

5:00 p.m.

That's all for knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. He was lifted with two outs in the second inning, having allowed five runs and four hits to the Royals in Game 4 of the ALCS. Dickey's brief outing comes a day after Royals starter Johnny Cueto failed to get an out in the third inning.

Dickey fell one out shy of a victory in ALDS Game 4 at Texas. He was taken out by manager John Gibbons with a six run lead in the fifth inning. He didn't get close this time.

Alcides Escobar led off with an infield hit and Ben Zobrist followed with a homer on the game's fourth pitch. Lorenzo Cain walked and scored on a passed ball. Eric Hosmer singled and scored on a sacrifice fly. Alex Rios led off the second with another home run to make it 5-0.

---

4:30 p.m.

Toronto lost one of its two replay challenges when Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was called safe at home plate on a passed ball by catcher Russell Martin in the first inning of Game 4.

Kansas City jumped to a 4-0 lead on Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Alcides Escobar singled and Ben Zobrist homered on Dickey's fourth pitch. Cain walked, stole second, went to third on Eric Hosmer's single and slid home just ahead of Dickey's tag on a Martin's passed ball.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons asked for a review, but replays confirmed that Cain's left foot touched the plate just before a sliding Dickey tagged him on the upper thigh.

Mike Moustakas hit a sacrifice fly, giving Kansas City a four-run edge before right-hander Chris Young's first pitch.

---

4:06 p.m.

''Game of Thrones'' fan R.A. Dickey threw his warm up pitches to the popular HBO fantasy show's theme music. The Blue Jays starter has said he would love to be an extra on the show.

---

3:51 p.m.

It's 59 degrees Fahrenheit and cloudy in Toronto but the roof is closed again. It was closed Monday night for Game 3 of the ALCS, too, even though it was 57 degrees at first pitch - that's 12 degrees warmer than it was for Game 2 at Citi Field in New York for the Mets-Cubs NLCS game on Sunday.

''I was in New York on Saturday night and 12 degrees was not enough,'' Commissioner Rob Manfred said Tuesday.

Major League baseball determines if the roof will be open or closed for postseason games, and Manfred was at Rogers Centre for Game 4. He said it was raining earlier on his way to the ballpark.

''Why would you take a chance with a game this important. Now, whether it actually rains enough to interfere with play who knows but, again, when you have a roof why would you take a chance with it,'' he said. ''My general thinking on things like this is things like this is that the individual clubs locally know best what should happen in their stadium.''

The Blue Jays were 38-14 with it open and 11-14 closed, and 4-0 with a combination of the two.

It was a balmy 68 degrees at first pitch today.

---

12:45 p.m.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said closer Roberto Osuna and setup man Aaron Sanchez are both ready to pitch despite nagging finger injuries. Osuna has a cracked fingernail and Sanchez a blister.

Both right-handers got two outs as Toronto beat the Royals 11-8 Monday night, cutting Kansas City's series lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven set. Osuna allowed a two-run homer to Kendrys Morales in the ninth.

Gibbons said he would not hesitate to use Osuna and Sanchez three days in a row before the next ALCS off day.

Left-hander Brett Cecil, who tore his left calf in Game 2 of the Division Series, is to throw off the mound Tuesday for the second time and hopes to return for the World Series if Toronto advances.

Outfielder Ben Revere, who jarred his back running the bases Monday, is back in the lineup as the leadoff hitter for Game 4.

---

12:39 p.m.

About 3 1-2 hours before Game 4 at Rogers Centre, Kansas City catchers Salvador Perez and Drew Butera did drills at home plate while the grounds crew watched. In the outfield, Blue Jays left fielder Ezequiel Carrera showed off his juggling skills with a soccer ball. He was joined relievers Roberto Osuna and Ryan Tepera.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.