It wasn't just the rain that showed up late in Baltimore as the Kansas City Royals brought their drama act to town. The Royals proved why they won't be stopped and why their hot bats will not cool off anytime soon.
In Game 1 of the ALCS, James Shields and Chris Tillman were the starters and both were clearly the aces of their squads heading into this matchup. The funny thing is, somebody forgot to tell the Royals offense to play their part.
The Orioles threatened early in the ballgame. In the second inning they had the bases loaded and could not cash in. Granted, there were two outs when the Orioles finally loaded the bases, but still, it's the ALCS and runs come at a premium this time of year. The worst part, when the Orioles didn't cash in during the bottom of the 2nd, the Royals struck in the next half inning from an unlikely source. Alcides Escobar hits a solo blast in the 3rd inning to give the Royals an early 1-0 lead in Baltimore. An already glancing blow considering the previous inning, but no, the Royals weren't done. How about adding an extra 3 runs when Alex Gordan hits a bases loaded, bases clearing broken bat bloop triple down the right field line. The Royals were then up 4-0. Some serious work needed to be done to get back into this one if you were an Orioles fan.
Well they started the ground work with an Adam Jones RBI single in the next half inning to make it 4-1 Kansas City. The Royals added another run in the top of the 5th with a Billy Butler sacrifice fly to make it 5-1 Royals. But, that is when the Orioles started getting to work. Next half inning, Nelson Cruz hits an RBI double to make it 5-2 Kansas City. Then Ryan Flaherty with 2 outs, hits a 2 run RBI single to make it 5-4 Kansas City in the bottom of the 5th. Suddenly, we have ourselves a ballgame.
The next inning, the Orioles spark some magic with a De Aza soft infield popup that lands in front of Alcides Escobar (Who in fact caused there to be men on second and third with an errand throw) which allows the tying run to score making it 5-5 heading into the 7th.
Nobody scores until they get close in the top of the 9th for the Royals. Bases loaded, nobody out, looking like the Royals were going to spread the gap rather quickly with what they had. Ball hit to Pearce, throws to home, out at the plate. 1 man out. The next man up hits into a inning ending double play. Unfortunately the Orioles don't score in the 9th, so we head to the tenth where the rain starts to fall.
Alex Gordan hits a solo shot in the beginning of the 10th to make it 6-5 Royals. Then a man gets on and Mike Moustakas hit's a 2 run bomb to center field and gives the Royals the final blow they needed to win Game 1 of the ALCS. They led 8-5 heading into the bottom of the 10th, where Delmon Young had an RBI single to make it 8-6, but the Orioles couldn't do anymore as the Royals win in a 4 1/2 hour ballgame and take a 1-0 series lead in the best of 7 ALCS.
There's a double header tomorrow, I'll be watching both games as I weave through the college football schedule on a busy Saturday sports afternoon!