October 15, 2014

ALCS 4: Royals 2, Orioles 1

Orioles - 001 000 000 - 1  4  1
Royals  - 200 000 00x - 2  5  0
The Kansas City Royals are 2014 American League champions!

A fielder's choice and an error by Baltimore catcher Caleb Joseph led to two first-inning runs for the Royals. Jason Vargas (5.1-2-1-3-6, 73) and the bullpen trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland made sure those two runs were enough.

The entire first inning belonged to the Royals. Omar Infante ranged far to his right to make a great play on Nick Markaskis's ground ball, leading off the game. Then Alex Gordon ran towards the corner to snag Steve Pearce's hard-hit ball for the second out. After Adam Jones fanned, the Royals quickly got on the board.

Alcides Escobar chopped a ball over the mound. Just as Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop was about to make a play, the ball caromed off the bag. Nori Aoki was hit with a pitch in the right thigh and KC had two men on. Despite being 8-for-12 in the ALCS, Lorenzo Cain was asked to bunt - and he did so successfully, moving the runners to second and third. Eric Hosmer then chopped a ball to first. Pearce fielded the high hop and threw it to the plate. Joseph gloved the low throw, and the ball was kicked loose by Escobar as he slid in safely. Before Joseph could track the ball down, Aoki had also scored.

Baltimore cut the lead to 2-1 when Ryan Flaherty began the third inning with a solo home run down the right field line. The only thing resembling a rally over the next six innings came in the sixth, when Schoop walked and took third on Jones's two-out single. Nelson Cruz ended the threat by lining out to Infante at second.

Holland walked Jones to start the top of the ninth. Cruz, who grounded into double plays in both the second and fourth innings, grounded back to the mound. Holland's throw to Escobar was off target, but the shortstop was able to grab the ball and drag his foot across the bag for the force out. Holland struck out Delmon Young and got J.J. Hardy to ground out to third.

And the celebration began in Kansas City.
Thirty-two baseball teams have been down 0-3 in a best-of-seven series (LCS or WS).
Series that made it to Game 5: 5 of 32
Series that made it to Game 6: 3 of 32
Series that made it to Game 7: 1 of 32

1 comment:

hrstrat57 said...

Congrats to the Royals and all KC Royal fans!