Johnny Cueto rocked as Royals see ALCS lead cut in half

TORONTO -- After playing their own style in their own ballpark, the Kansas City Royals watched the Toronto Blue Jays do the same as the American League Championship Series shifted to Canada.

The Blue Jays hit three home runs, their first long balls of the ALCS, and rolled to an 11-8 victory on Monday. The Royals lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 with two games remaining in Toronto. Games 6 and 7, if necessary, would be in Kansas City.

Royals starter Johnny Cueto was roughed up for eight runs in two-plus innings, on six hits and four walks.

The Royals used their own style of consistent offense, dependable defense and outstanding relief pitching to win the first two games of the series at Kauffman Stadium. In the Rogers Centre, though, the Blue Jays unleashed their power game.

Not only did Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson deliver home runs for the Blue Jays, so did No. 9 hitter Ryan Goins, who also knocked in the home team's first two runs of the game on a single in the second inning. All three Blue Jays home run hitters had three RBIs.

Thumbs up: Credit the Royals' offense for remaining largely unaffected by the Blue Jays' uprising. After the Jays took control with a six-run third inning, the Royals methodically added two runs in the fifth. Of course, with the big lead, Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman was more focused on throwing strikes than getting too fancy. Even in the ninth inning, with the game in hand, the Royals never gave up, adding four runs.

Thumbs down: Cueto still could hold the key for the Royals somewhere down the line, but Monday he looked completely out of his element. With a fastball that was still in the mid-90 mph range, the right-hander lacked command and was punished for it. Just five days removed from his domination of the Houston Astros in the division series, he returned to being the erratic pitcher he was after he was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds in July.

Up next: The Royals will turn to tall right-hander Chris Young in Game 4 on Tuesday. It will be the first time in nine Royals playoff games that somebody other than Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez or Yordano Ventura has started. Young hasn't started a game since Oct. 2, although in his one postseason appearance, in Game 1 of the ALDS, he struck out seven batters over four innings.