Who would have imagined that we would be talking about the Royals running away to the World Series? Who would have imagined, when they were behind the Oakland A’s 7-3 in the eighth inning of the Wild Card game, that a juggernaut was about to be unleashed? Well, as it turns out, the Royals are taking the postseason by storm, as their 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles has left them one game away from the World Series.
Jeremy Guthrie took the mound, facing off against Wei-Yin Chen for the Orioles. After a scoreless first, Guthrie ran into trouble with one out in the second. Steve Pearce lined a double to center, and scored on J.J. Hardy‘s double to right as the Orioles took their first lead of the series. A walk put runners on first and second, but Guthrie was able to escape the inning without further damage.
The Royals came back in the fourth, using their ability to make contact. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer had consecutive singles, and Billy Butler walked to load the bases. Alex Gordon followed with a grounder to second, making Jonathan Schoop range over far enough where his only play was to first, allowing the Royals to tie the game at 1-1.
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Guthrie worked his way through five innings, keeping the game tied before the Royals went to the bullpen, bringing in Jason Frasor to face the heart of the lineup. Adam Jones began the inning with a foul ball that Mike Moustakas went over the dougout railing for, catching the ball amidst the crowd for the first out of the inning. From that moment, there seemed to be no question as to how this game would end.
The Royals did their part in the bottom of the inning. Nori Aoki singled to lead off the inning, bringing the speedy Jarrod Dyson in as a pinch runner. After an out, Hosmer singled, putting runners at the corners. Up came Butler, who lifted a fly ball to just before the warning track, more than deep enough for Dyson to score, giving the Royals a 2-1 lead.
That would be all for the Orioles. The triumvirate of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland kept the Orioles off base, preserving the 2-1 victory as the Royals are now a game away from reaching the World Series. Frasor earned the win, pitching a scoreless inning.