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Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista sits in the dugout during the seventh inning in Game 6 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo.

Matt Slocum/The Associated Press

It will be analyzed over and over, by the experts on sports television shows to the average Joe raising a glass or two in the local saloon, talking about the play that led to the downfall of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Should Jose Bautista have thrown to second base like he did in the bottom of the eighth inning that provided Lorenzo Cain the small opening he needed to score the winning run for the Kansas City Royals from first base?

Or should the right fielder have thrown home, which would have probably left K.C. with runners at second and third with none out in a tie ballgame?

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You can pick your poison on that one.

After a monster game, in which Bautista clouted two home runs to keep hauling the Blue Jays back into it, Toronto finally ran out of miracles here at Kauffman Stadium on Friday night in a terrific game that featured a little bit of everything.

In the final analysis, it was K.C. who managed to hang on for a wild 4-3 victory that allowed the Royals to win their second consecutive American League Championship Series, four games to two.

The Royals will now advance into the World Series to play the New York Mets, beginning on Tuesday night.

"The last couple of months flew by and we played such good baseball, better than you normally see for a stretch," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We're all disappointed that we're not moving on. That's baseball.

"We put up our best fight [on Friday]. And they've got a great team over there and they'll represent the American League really well."

Bautista homered in the fourth inning that cut the K.C. lead to 2-1.

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And he did so again in the top of the eighth, a two-run belt that knotted the score at 3-3.

Following a 45-minute rain delay, play resumed with Roberto Osuna, the fine Toronto closer, on the mound.

Osuna walked Cain, the K.C. leadoff batter who has great speed.

Then up stepped Eric Hosmer, who hit the ball firmly down the right field line.

Bautista was on it quickly and as he gathered the ball in he spun in a circle before unloading a throw to Troy Tulowitzki, the Toronto shortstop who was covering at second base.

"I thought I cut it off quick enough to where if I threw to second I'd prevent him [Hosmer] from going to second and Cain from scoring," Bautista said. "But obviously I was wrong."

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Sensing the moment at hand, Cain never slowed as he headed around the base paths.

And when Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele saw that Bautista's throw heading for second base he frantically started waving for Cain to head home and that's just what he did, easily beating the throw from Tulowitzki to record the winning run.

"Cain just got on his horse and it just felt like, I don't know if there was a stop sign at third base," said Toronto catcher Russell Martin. "It was definitely a dangerous play on his part.

"He got lucky that Tulo didn't get a good grip on the baseball. The way the play was unfolding I felt like if Tulo gets a clean exchange he's going to be out by quite a bit."

Cain said he just kept running and running was as surprised as anybody when he got the green light to head for home.

"I got to third and I saw Jirschele sending me," Cain said. "I don't know what happened but I just kept going."

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"I think Jose played the ball right," said Toronto first baseman Chris Colabello. "You've got to throw the ball to second, try to keep him [Hosmer] off second base.

"I'm sure that's something they've talked about, especially with their speed where if they see the ball go to second they're going to take a chance and send the guy home. Baseball's a funny game."

The play obviously detracted from an otherwise great game for Bautista, who became the only Blue Jay in franchise history to record two home runs in a post-season game.

"I was just trying to make something positive happen when I came up to the plate," Bautista said about his big bops. "I was able to come through twice. Unfortunately it wasn't enough. Sour loss. We had enough opportunities to do more and we didn't. So they deserved to win."

Toronto squandered numerous scoring chances in the contest, going 0-for-12 hitting with runners in scoring position.

Even in the top of the ninth, with runners at first and third and none out, the Blue Jays failed to get tying run across.

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"We had a tremendous year, definitely didn't have the finish that we wanted," Martin said. "But we're definitely going to hold our heads high.

"I'm proud of the group we have, I'm proud how we fought. But got to give credit to Kansas City, they have a tremendous ball club and they deserved it."

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