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Royals take a 3-0 ALCS lead over Baltimore with dominant pitching in 2-1 win

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Leading off the third inning, Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis popped a 2-2 pitch from Jeremy Guthrie down the left field line that evaded a sprinting Alex Gordon. That blooper was the last hit the Baltimore Orioles would collect, and they only managed one more baserunner with a walk in the fourth inning before Royals retired the next 16 batters in a row in a 2-1 ALCS game 3 win.

The Royals plated their only runs on a bases loaded fielder's choice in the fourth that scored Lorenzo Cain and a Billy Butler sacrifice fly in the sixth that scored pinch runner Jarrod Dyson.  Both bullpens were dominant on Tuesday night, neither allowed a hit, but the sacrifice fly allowed by Kevin Gausman scored the deciding run.

The other story in game 3 was the defense by Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas, who made a diving catch on a line drive in the fourth, but that wasn't his best highlight. In the sixth he made an acrobatic catch where he went over the railing separating the dugout suite from the field, falling into the arms of cheering fans.  Each standout defensive play retired a dangerous Orioles hitter, Steve Pearce was robbed in the fourth and Adam Jones watched in disbelief in the sixth.

The Royals look to clinch the club's first American League championship and World Series appearance since 1985 with a win in game 4 on Wednesday. The Royals send Jason Vargas to the mound who will be opposed by Baltimore's Miguel Gonzalez. First pitch is scheduled for 3:07 p.m and the game airs on TBS.

 

Andrew Lynch October 14, 201410:09 pm

The Royals are one win away from going to the World Series after beating the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in game 3 of the ALCS. Jason Vargas heads to the mound for the Royals in game 4. 

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20149:58 pm

Headed to the ninth, closer Greg Holland will enter the game with a 2-1 lead, looking to push the Royals series advantage to 3-0 with a save. 

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20149:57 pm

Since a walk surrendered in the fourth inning, Royals pitching has retired 13 Orioles in a row, last hit allowed was a Markakis single in the 3rd. 

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20149:43 pm

As is customary when the Royals lead late, Wade Davis is striding out to the mound for the 8th inning, Royals still lead 2-1. 

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Herrera overpowers the Orioles’ 6-7-8 hitters for a 3 up, 3 down seventh inning, Royals look to tack on to a 2-1 lead after the seventh inning stretch. 

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20149:20 pm

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20149:20 pm

The Royals single tally is all they’ll get in the sixth, but the tie is broken with the Royals leading 2-1 headed to the seventh. 

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Billy Butler comes through with a sacrifice fly that scores Dyson from third. The Royals have things set up for the bullpen with a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

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Kevin Gausman into the game for the Orioles, sporting a 1.69 ERA in two appearances so far in the postseason. 

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Hosmer slashes a single to right, sending Dyson to third and ending Chen’s night. Royals have something cooking with men on the corners, 1 out and Baltimore headed to the bullpen. 

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Another gem from KCPD, following a web gem from Moustakas, though we know they mean runs.  

 

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20149:05 pm

Aoki gets a possible rally rolling with a slicing single to center and is replaced by Dyson. Get ready for some pickoff plays.

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Moustakas with another incredible grab!

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Bad break for the Royals. Escobar reached first base and tried to advance to second on an errant throw by Chen, but a perfect bounce back to the fielder doomed him. Top of the sixth, still tied at 1 with Jason Frasor now pitching for KC. 

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Great shutdown from Guthrie, who retires the Orioles 1-2-3 with a couple pop outs and a ground out. Still 1-1 in game 3. 

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Royals load the bases for Alex Gordon who brings in Lorenzo Cain on a groundout, Perez follow up with a pop out and the game is all knotted up at 1 headed to the fifth inning. 

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Lorenzo stays scorching hot in the ALCS, now 8 for 10 with that looping single and looking to tie up game 3.

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Guthrie really laboring after an easy first inning, pitch count now at 80 in the fourth inning, J.J. Hardy saw 14 pitches during his last at bat 

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20148:17 pm

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20148:15 pm

Moustakas with the robbery of Steve Pearce: 

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Moustakas double play upends Royals in the third, we go to the fourth inning with Baltimore still ahead 1-0. 

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Omar Infante finishes a 10-pitch at bat with a sharp single to left-center, bringing up Mike Moustakas with nobody out.

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Andrew Lynch October 14, 20148:01 pm

Alejandro De Aza and Nelson Cruz entered the game tied as the Orioles leading hitters in the ALCS with .444 averages and 3 RBIs between them, but fail to move Markakis around and the score remains 1-0, Orioles headed to the bottom of the third.  

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A bad break on defense for KC as Hosmer had Markakis caught between first and second on a groundout, but couldn’t make an accurate throw to Escobar for a rundown and allowed him to scamper back to first. One on, one out for the Orioles’ Adam Jones 

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Guthrie limits the damage to a single run in the top of the second and the Royals trail 1-0 headed to the bottom of the frame. 

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No dive needed, but Cain covers an impressive amount of ground to snag a ball shot to the right-center gap for the second out. Orioles with men on first and third for nine place hitter Jonathan Schoop

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20147:32 pm

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20147:32 pm

J.J. Hardy’s first extra-base hit of the series, a double, scores Pearce from second and the Orioles strike first and take a 1-0 lead.  

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Steve Pearce gets his first hit of the series with a double to left-center field. One on in scoring position and one out for the Orioles

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Wei-Yin Chen with an economical 13 pitch first inning, only allowing the hit to Cain. In his American League Division start against the Detroit Tigers, Chen cruised through 3 innings before coming unraveled in the 4th inning upon facing the Tigers’ lineup for a second time.  

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With that infield hit, Lorenzo Cain improves his already LCS best batting AVG, which now stands at .778

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20147:17 pm

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20147:15 pm

Jeremy Guthrie only needs 10 pitches, only one called a ball, to retire the Orioles 1-2-3 in the first inning. Escobar, Aoki and Cain due up in the bottom of the first.

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Much has been made about the Kansas City winning streak that stretches back to 1985, but Ernie Johnson had a great stat in the pregame show: The Royals have only trailed in the 2014 playoffs for 18 minutes and 20 seconds. 

Andrew Lynch October 14, 20147:09 pm