Final Score: Royals 2, Orioles 1; Royals Win Series 4-0
If all the Kansas City Royals had done this year was make the playoffs, the season still would have gone down as the Royals’ best in nearly three decades.
Kansas City’s 29-year postseason drought, the longest in American pro sports, finally came to an end when the Royals qualified for the A.L. Wild Card Game. But the Royals, perhaps playing with house money, didn’t stop there. They overcame a four-run deficit to beat the Oakland A’s to win the Wild Card Game on a 12th-inning Salvador Perez single, then steamrolled the A.L. West champion Angels in the American League Division Series.
Wednesday, they beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-1, finished off a four-game sweep of the A.L. East champion Orioles and did the unthinkable: Advanced to the World Series.
Click here for the full box score and read on for a recap:
The Royals Scored Their Only 2 Runs in the 1st Inning
The Royals scored twice on a fielder’s choice and an error in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead, and that was the only scoring they needed.
With Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki on board, Eric Hosmer hit a groundball to first baseman Steve Pearce. Pearce thew home, attempting to get Escobar, but Escobar slid home safely and the throw got away from catcher Caleb Joseph, allowing Aoki to score the second run.
The play was made possible by a sacrifice bunt by the Royals’ Lorenzo Cain, who bunted on his own to move Escobar and Aoki to third and second, respectively.
Cain, who hit a scalding .533 in the series, was named MVP of the series.
He joined MLB Network Radio for a postgame interview that you can listen to here:
Jason Vargas Gave Up Only 1 Run & Got the Win
Jason Vargas gave up only one run in 5 1/3 innings, — a homer by Ryan Flaherty in the third — on 2 hits while walking 3 and striking out 6.
Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis pitched a combined 2 2/3 of shutout relief to get the ball to Greg Holland, who closed it.
Greg Holland Got JJ Hardy to Ground Out to End It
Greg Holland pitched a scoreless ninth for the save and got JJ Hardy to ground out to third with a runner on first to end it, igniting a celebration that was 29 years in the making.
Ned Yost, whose in-game decision-making had people demanding his firing when Kansas City was on the verge of losing the Wild Card game to Oakland, became the first manager in history to win his first eight postseason games.
Here’s a look at the celebration on the field after the game:
It’s the Royals’ First A.L. Pennant Since 1985
The World Series bid is Kansas City’s first since 1985, when George Brett and Co. beat the in-state rival Cardinals in seven games.
You can watch the amazing full Game 7 broadcast here — and fast forward as needed — with Al Michaels and Jim Palmer on the call for ABC.
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