AL Wild Card Recap
After the A’s took a 2-0 lead on former Pirate Brandon Moss’s first inning home run, Kansas City battled back to take a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning. However, after Royals pitcher James Shields allowed the first two batters in the sixth inning to reach base, manager Ned Yost went to the bullpen, bringing in Yordano Ventura who promptly surrendered Brandon Moss’s second home run of the game to give the Athletics the lead. The A’s added two more runs and suddenly it was 7-3 in favor of Oakland. The Royals drove Jon Lester from the game in the 8th inning, scoring three runs to narrow the deficit to 7-6. In the 9th inning, A’s closer Sean Doolittle blew the save opportunity, allowing Jarrod Dyson to score the tying run on a sacrifice fly. Oakland scored in the top of the 12th but again blew the save opportunity as Eric Hosmer tripled off the left field wall and scored. To cap the comeback, Salvador Perez won the game with a walk off single.
The Kansas City Royals battled back in the twelfth inning to complete the Oakland Athletics late season collapse. The Royals won despite trailing by 4 runs going into the bottom of the eighth as Oakland blew two save opportunities in the loss. Kansas City entered the bottom of the 12th trailing by a run, after Oakland tacked on a run in the top half of the inning, but scored twice to walk off and advance into a Divisional round matchup with the Angels.
The Royals tied a postseason record by stealing seven bases. Oakland was unable to check their running game, especially after starting catcher Geovany Soto was hurt in the third inning. For the Athletics, this leaves them with an offseason full of questions as the midseason acquisition of Jon Lester failed to bring them their first postseason series win since 2006. The Athletics offense wasn’t the same following the trade that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox. Adam Dunn did not get an at bat for the Athletics and after the game announced his retirement. He played over 2,000 regular season games without appearing in a single postseason game. His 462 home runs are the second most for a player without a postseason at bat. After waiting 14 seasons for the opportunity to play in the postseason, Dunn called it quits. For the Royals, their first postseason victory since 1985 was definitely worth the wait.
Written by: Arthur Mueller