The Kansas City Royals seem destined to make the World Series this year. After a 28-year playoff drought, the Royals finally squeaked into the ALDS this season following a 9-8 win in a 12-inning thriller over the Athletics in the AL Wild Card contest. Then, in spite of their complete lack of experience, they swept the Angels, who had the best record in baseball during the regular season. Now, they find themselves in the ALCS, and they still haven’t missed a beat.
The Royals jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on Friday against the Orioles. However, the Orioles fought back and had huge innings in the 5th and 6th. This led to a 5-5 tie at the end of the 9th inning, which caused the Royals to have to play their fourth extra-inning game of the postseason. Thanks to home runs by Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas, Kansas City was able to reclaim the lead in the top of tenth, and closer Greg Holland came on in the bottom of the inning. Despite allowing a run off of a Delmon Young single, Holland got the save and solidified an 8-6 Royals victory. Wade Davis was the winning pitcher for Kansas City.
Game two, more or less, had the same plot as the first game of the series. This time, the Royals took a 2-0 lead after the first inning, but after that, the game was fairly even. Baltimore and Kansas City traded runs with each other until the ninth inning. Yet again, the Royals came on strong in the top of the game’s final frame. Alcides Escobar doubled to right to score Terrance Gore, and then Lorenzo Cain knocked in Escobar with a single. Wade Davis, who entered the game in the eighth inning, got his second consecutive win, while Greg Holland added his second save of the playoffs.
The Orioles are, without a doubt, a great team. In the regular season, they were ninth in batting average, eighth in runs scored, and third in slugging percentage. With such a high caliber offense, it’s possible that they could orchestrate a comeback and win the series. They’ve dug themselves into quite a hole, though, as teams that take a 2-0 lead in the ALCS are 21-3 when it comes to winning the series. That being said, the Royals chances of advancing to the World Series are incredibly high. The team is on fire and has yet to lose in the postseason. It will be interesting to see how the Orioles respond to the two game deficit on the road on Tuesday for game three, and if the next few games are anything like the first two, the series will provide lots of entertainment and nail biting finishes.
Written by: Nick Rose