MLB Playoffs – Kansas City Royals Thrive Late, Baltiomre Orioles Bullpen Fails

Royals beat Orioles

Game 1 of the 2014 ALCS was decided in extra innings, as home runs from Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas helped the Kansas City Royals come away from Camden Yards with the 8-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles, taking a 1-0 lead in the series.

This was their fourth extra innings win of the postseason, more than any other team in MLB history. All the teams with three extra inning wins in their postseason runs: The 2004 Red Sox, the 2003 Marlins, the 1996 Yankees, the 1991 Twins and the 1986 Mets went on to win the World Series as well.

The Orioles never held the lead in a game they were left to chase the Royals in, getting a disappointing performance from almost each and every one who was on the mound for them, including starter Chris Tillman, lasting less than five innings after giving up seven hits, five runs while walking two, and Zach Britton, who got only one out while walking three batters, resulting in Darren O’Day coming on the mound and picking up the loss.

James Shields didn’t do much better for the Royals. His ERA in this postseason is now 5.63, giving up 10 hits and four runs in the five innings he pitched, not even getting to the 100 pitches count. Brandon Finnegan who came on for him nearly lost the game for the Royals, blowing the save. Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis, each of them pitching for two innings, managed to slow the bleeding, not giving up a single hit or walk during their time on the mound. Greg Holland did give up a run in the bottom of the tenth, but it wasn’t enough to deny him the save.

Alex Gordon was the big man on the plate for the Royals with 3-for-4 and four RBIs. The first came with a double in the third inning following the Escobar home run, with Gordon’s double combined with a throwing error by Jonathan Schoop resulted in three runs being scored, giving the Royals a 4-1 lead. They blew that lead along the way, but Gordon hit a solo home run in the 10th, followed by Moustakas hitting a two-run homer to give the Royals the 8-5 lead and eventually the road win.

These games, we’ve played so many of them that we’re kind of used to them a little bit. And we still have a lot of confidence. Gordy just has a lot of confidence in his abilities. He’s a guy that can get hit by a pitch and do exactly what he did, drive it out of the ballpark tonight, after getting hit in the neck. So it was a huge hit for us at that point.

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