It had to be Jeremy Guthrie. The pitcher that plays to the moment, keeping the Royals within a run virtually every time out. The pitcher who, in some way, may be the personification of the Kansas City Royals themselves – a player that may just be better than everyone thinks. Fittingly, it was Guthrie who took the mound tonight, dominating the Chicago White Sox as the Royals punched their postseason ticket with a 3-1 victory.
The Royals made sure to make it as easy as possible for Guthrie in the first. Alcides Escobar led off the game with a base hit, and scored on Nori Aoki‘s RBI triple. Two pitches later, Lorenzo Cain singled to center, plating Aoki and giving the Royals a 2-0 lead after six pitches. After Cain stole second, Billy Butler came through with an RBI single of his own to give the Royals a 3-0 lead.
That would be all that Jeremy Guthrie would need. He cruised through the White Sox lineup, not allowing a single runner past second during his masterful performance. The White Sox seemed thoroughly unable to make solid contact against his assortment of pitches, as Guthrie did a great job of hitting his spots and keeping the White Sox off balance.
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The White Sox managed to scratch a run across in the eighth against Wade Davis. With one out, Adam Eaton tripled into the right center gap, and scored on a base hit by Alexei Ramirez. However, that would be all that Chicago would get, as Davis and Greg Holland slammed the door, preserving the 3-1 victory and clinching the Royals first playoff berth since 1985.
Jeremy Guthrie was stellar, picking up the victory as he pitched seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and one walk as he struck out six batters. Guthrie gave the Royals everything they needed tonight, pitching perhaps his best game of the season when it mattered most.
Billy Butler continued his hot hitting, going 2-4 with an RBI in the victory.