TORONTO — Ryan Goins joined some exclusive company on Monday night.
The 27-year-old Goins knocked in his first home run of the post-season in the fifth inning of the Toronto Blue Jays' 11-8 win over the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.
Goins' solo shot to the second deck of Rogers Centre saw him join Roberto Alomar as the only Blue Jays second basemen to hit home runs in the post-season.
"He's doing a great job and he's playing real good for us," Alomar told The Canadian Press. "I like the way he's playing the game."
The home run was just part of a night of redemption for Goins.
Two nights earlier, in Game 2, his defensive miscue sent Toronto into a tailspin as the Blue Jays fell 6-3 in Kansas City. In Game 3, Goins finished 2-for-4 with three RBI as the Blue Jays defeated the Royals 11-8.
Goins got the Blue Jays offence going in the second inning on Monday night, driving in a pair of runs on a two-out single to left field.
"He's been carrying that load around for a little bit," said Toronto manager John Gibbons. "He stepped up, really got us on the board with a great at-bat, picking up those two runs, base hit to left and then, of course, the home run."
Goins, who had been mired in an 0-for-24 slump at the plate dating back to the regular season, is now riding a three-game hit streak.
"There's no need to put any extra pressure on yourself," he said. "Just come in and do what I've been doing the whole season. Contribute any way possible: offensively, defensively, base running.
"Whatever I can do to help this team win is what I want to do."
Goins said he had a conversation with Jays right-fielder Jose Bautista on the flight home from Kansas City, which put him at ease.
"I know he has my back every day," Goins said. "I don't read anything from the outside sources. He came up to me on the plane and told me he had my back, and we moved past it, and that's what we did today."
Goins showed off his defensive side in the win too.
In the seventh, he robbed Lorenzo Cain of a single, sliding to his right and throwing the Royals' centre-fielder out at first.
"Just seeing what Go-Go did, that was huge," said starting pitcher Marcus Stroman. "Seeing how he bounced back from all that scrutiny that was going on the last game. To see him go out and get us started, get a homer and make the unbelievable plays that he does day-in and day-out, that he makes look so easy.
"It's special just to have him back there behind me."
Dhiren Mahiban, The Canadian Press