SPORTS

Despite Royals being one win from pennant, Johnny Cueto says Blue Jays stealing signs

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto reacts after Toronto Blue Jays' Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer during the third inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto reacts after Toronto Blue Jays' Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer during the third inning in Game 3 of baseball's American League Championship Series on Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Toronto. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Kansas Royals Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez told reporters that his teammate Johnny Cueto believes the Toronto Blue Jays were stealing signs during their 11-8 Game 3 victory Monday night at the Rogers Center in the American League Championship Series.

Volquez, the winning pitcher in Kansas City's Game 1 victory, said Cueto thought the Blue Jays were having signs relayed to them from center field during an 11-8 win. Cueto was chased with no outs in the third inning, having allowed eight runs and six hits.

"I think he said last night, they got a guy in center field. You see how hard it is. He looks to center field and he sees somebody do this or do that. It's really hard to do that," Volquez said before Game 4 on Tuesday.

Volquez and others weren't all that convinced.

"That's your fault," Volquez said. "You've got to hide the ball and have better communication with the catcher giving you signs when you're pitching. So it's nothing wrong with it. We just have to hide the ball and give multiple signs to hide it from them."

Royals manager Ned Yost wasn't giving too much credence to the accusation, saying it never came up during the game.

"We always watch for that, whoever we're playing," Yost said. "We use multiple signs, set up late. It's not really an issue for us. We always make sure we are changing signs because clubs will look to relay location. But we haven't seen any sign of it here."

Commissioner Rob Manfred was more amused than concerned.

"Stealing signs is something that is often claimed, rarely proven in baseball," he said.

Even if Cueto’s accusation is true, it isn't helping the Blue Jays much. During Tuesday's Game 4 on Wednesday, they were thrashed by the Royals, 14-2, who secured a 3-1 lead in the ALCS.

Ben Zobrist hit a two-run homer on knuckleballer R.A. Dickey's fourth pitch of the game, and Alex Ríos connected an inning later against his former team.

"We're very confident," Ríos said. "We have a very well-balanced team from top to bottom."

Lorenzo Cain scored on a passed ball, and Mike Moustakas had a sacrifice fly in an LCS-record four-run top of the first. Alcides Escobar had four RBIs, and Cain drove in three runs as the Royals bounced back from an 11-8 loss Monday. Kansas City led 5-2 in the seventh before breaking away.

The Royals can win the pennant Wednesday, when Volquez starts against Toronto's Marco Estrada in a Game 1 rematch.

In the National League Championship Series, the New York Mets also are a game away from winning the pennant after a 5-2 victory over the Chicago Cubs Tuesday.

Daniel Murphy continued his torrid October, hitting his sixth home run of the playoffs and tying Carlos Beltrán for most consecutive postseason games with a home run (5).

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

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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