Tying It Up In The Ninth
The Kauffman Stadium crowd stood to begin the inning. Late-season acquisition Josh Willingham lofted a single to the right field corner. Alcides Escobar advanced pinch runner Jarrod Dyson to second with a bunt. Then Dyson stole third to the roars of jubilant KC Royals fans.
Now they could sense the tying run coming home with only one out in the inning.
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Right fielder Nori Aoki didn’t disappoint by lofting a deep fly to right field that easily scored Dyson. As Dyson came into a crazed Kansas City dugout, Eric Hosmer greeted him with what my amateur lip reading interpreted as, “That’s all fucking YOU!”
Lorenzo Cain lined out to end the inning, but the party was on in Kansas City. The Royals had just done the impossible by stealing and slapping their way to four runs in two innings. We were now going to get to see our team fight to advance in extra innings.
And, Kansas City Royals fans across the country KNEW that this team was something very different than what they had seen in the miserable past.