Royals Sweep Orioles, Win First American League Pennant Since 1985

It sure feels like 1985, doesn’t it Kansas City?

The Royals swept the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS by winning game four 2-1 to advance to the World Series. The Royals jumped out to a fast two run lead in the first inning. Alcides Escobar led off with an infield single. Nori Aoki was hit by a pitch and both runners were moved up by a Lorenzo Cain sacrifice bunt. Eric Hosmer then reached on a fielder’s choice. He hit a ground ball to first basemen Steve Pearce who then threw home to attempt to get Escobar at the plate and cut down the run, but Escobar kicked the ball to the backstop as he slid in and both runners came in to score while Hosmer advanced to second. Alex Gordon walked but it was followed by a Salvador Perez fly out to left to end the inning.

The second inning was scoreless, but the birds got on the board in the third. Ryan Flaherty led off the frame driving a 1-0 offering down the right field line that just stayed inside the foul pole, cutting the deficit to 2-1. Jason Vargas then settled down and retired the next three batters in order.

The O’s tried to get something going in the sixth. Jonathan Schoop led off with a walk but Nick Markakis struck out, which signaled the end of the afternoon for Vargas. The crafty lefty pitched well, hurling 5.1 frames allowing one run on only two hits, walking three and striking out six. Kelvin Herrera entered the game and got Steve Pearce to pop out. Adam Jones then singled to right, advancing the tying run to third but Herrera got the boomstick, Nelson Cruz to line out to second and escape further trouble.

Herrera stayed on to pitch the seventh and retired the side in order. Wade Davis pitch the eighth and allowed a two out single to Nick Markakis, but Steve Pearce grounded out to third to end the inning. Greg Holland pitched a scoreless ninth to lock down his sixth save of the postseason and send the Royals to the World Series for the first time in 29 years. Lorenzo Cain was named the series MVP. He went 8-15 and scored five runs in the series. The World Series will start on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium against either the Giants or the Cardinals.

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