On Oct. 5, 2014, the Kansas City Royals used the momentum of their Wild Card Game win to sweep the Angels in the ALDS. A victory in Game 3 set up an ALCS matchup with the Orioles.
It seems like just yesterday when the Kansas City Royals were shocking the world every time they took the field. Three years ago, they finished off a stunning sweep of the top-seeded Angels in the American League Division Series.
Following their thrilling victory in the Wild Card Game, the Royals headed to Los Angeles for the first two games of the ALDS. Extra-inning home runs from Mike Moustakas (Game 1) and Eric Hosmer (Game 2) helped support stellar starting pitching and stupendous bullpen work.
That gave the Kansas City Royals a 2-0 lead heading back to Kauffman Stadium for Game 3. The team took the field exactly three years ago attempting to sweep the Angels, who finished with 98 wins, out of the playoffs.
How it Happened
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Mike Trout got the road team off to a great start with a solo home run in the top of the first inning. However, the Royals struck for three runs in the bottom half, knocking starter C.J. Wilson out after just two-thirds of an inning.
However, the Royals beat up on the bullpen too. Kansas City scored two runs apiece in the third and fourth innings to grab control. Hosmer cranked a two-run shot in the third, and—after an Albert Pujols solo shot in the fourth—Moustakas homered and Cain hit a sacrifice fly to give the Royals a 7-2 lead.
James Shields finished off his six solid frames with a strikeout of Chris Iannetta. Shields allowed just the two runs on six hits and two walks. The former Tampa Bay pitcher struck out six to earn the win. He also got plenty of help from his defense, including two incredible catches by Cain. (They come at the end of the below video.)
The Kansas City Royals tacked on an insurance run when Aoki singled home Omar Infante in the bottom of the sixth. A Josh Hamilton RBI-groundout pulled the Angels within 8-3 in the eighth inning. Greg Holland, though, struck out two in the ninth—including Trout to finish the game—to send the Boys in Blue to the American League Championship Series.
Earlier in the day, Baltimore finished off a three-game sweep of Detroit to reach the ALCS. Even still, the series wouldn’t start until Oct. 10. But more on that later.
If anything, it just gave the Royals and all of Kansas City more time to celebrate starting the postseason with four straight wins.