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World Series-bound Royals: Appreciating fans, family

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KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — "Kansas City, You've got a World Series," said Denny Matthews, the "Voice of the Royals" since 1969.

"Bouncing ball. Moustakas. Fair ball.  Sets. Throws. Royals win it!"

With more dominant defense, an opportunistic offense that plated two runs in the first inning and a bullpen that shut down the Baltimore Orioles once again, Greg Holland and the Kansas City Royals wrapped up a sweep of the AL Championship Series with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday.

"To see it up on the board, 'American League Champions.' Kind of hits you right there. But the coolest thing was running from the outfield and seeing the fans celebrate and getting that whole view that I had," said Alex Gordon, recalling the moment they took the game and landed in the World Series for the first time since 1985, the last year they also made the playoffs.

The sentiment was echoed by teammate Eric Hosmer.

"Fans have been with us the whole time. It's awesome to come out here and see the blue in the stands and you get to enjoy this with all our fans," said Hosmer.

Kansas City hosts the first two World Series games beginning Tuesday against the winner of the NLCS between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.  On Wednesday, the Cardinals lost to the Giants, 6-4, putting the series at 3-1 in favor of the Giants.

Wednesday night's sweep of the Orioles was the first time the AL East champion Orioles have been swept in 21 postseason series. Jason Vargas combined with three relievers on a four-hitter, with Holland earning his fourth save of the ALCS.

"Not just for me I think for the fans, man, who haven't had this type of excitement in their town in 29 years. And you got a young bunch who bring the excitement back to this town. It's just a great feeling overall, you know," said Jarrod Dyson.

Billy Butler was both grateful and thrilled after the game.

"I owe everything to this organization. I was drafted by them. I've been here my whole time. I wouldn't want it any way else. Everything I have I owe to the Kansas City Royals and them taking a gamble on a high school kid," said Billy Butler.

Watch the video in the player above for the family atmosphere on the field right after the win. Jeremy Guthrie had his boys out there, Alex Gordon was holding his son in his arms, Wade Davis held his daughter, Lorenzo Cain had his newborn son against his chest, and Nori Aoki was surrounded by his family.

on the field

"The first time I saw this group of young players I knew that they were capable of winning a championship and I knew that they were capable of generating excitement like this for our city, for our fans and for our organization," said Ned Yost, Royals' manager.

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Gordon, Hosmer, and Butler and Dyson: Grateful to fans and Royals organization

Lorenzo Cain named MVP:

LorenzoLorenzo Cain was selected MVP of the AL Championship Series after helping the Kansas City Royals to a four-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 2-1 victory Wednesday.

Along with making a series of splendid defensive plays in center field, Cain had eight hits in the series, matching the franchise record for an ALCS set by Willie Wilson in 1985 against Toronto.

"It's a lot of ground here to cover but I do the best I can to make plays for my pitchers because I know how great of a job they do each and every night," Cain said.

Cain matched a Royals record with four hits in Game 2 on Saturday, and scored Kansas City's first run in Game 3 on Tuesday night. He also laid down a key sacrifice bunt — the first of his career — that helped the Royals take a 2-0 lead in the first inning Wednesday.

"It's an amazing feeling. To be here. In this moment, with my teammates, friends, coaching staff, owner, Dayton. Unbelieveable feeling. I've enjoyed every moment of it," said Cain.

A snapshot of their celebration:

champagne celebration

FOX 4 is also thrilled to be the station for the World Series. Get ready to watch the Royals on FOX!

royals on fox

 

Holt and Eden

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Champagne for everyone! 

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The final out at Power and Light.

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Wade Davis showing off the William Harridge trophy, which is awarded to the American League champion, with FOX 4’s Al Wallace

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George Brett approves!

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SWEEEP!

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This has been a magical run, consider the following:

In the AL Wild Card game the Royals beat the Oakland A’s, the team with the best run differential in MLB. 

In the ALDS the Royals beat the Los Angeles Angels, the team that had the best record and scored the most runs in MLB.

In the ALCS the Royals beat the Baltimore Orioles, the team that hit the most home runs in MLB and tied for the second best record. 

Not only did the Royals beat them, the Royals have yet to lose in the postseason. 

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Yes, yes it is!

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THAT’S IT !!!! ROYALS WIN!!!!!

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One to go, Young strikes out

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Following a leadoff walk to Jones, Holland gets a tapper from Cruz to get Jones at second, but that’s the only out because of a wide throw from Holland. 

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Jones battling this at bat, works from down 0-2 to 3-2 

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Moustakas pops out and we head to the ninth, Greg Holland on to close with the Royals holding a 2-1 lead. 

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O’s manager Buck Showalter playing percentages and intentionally walking Infante to bring up left hander Moustakas. Showalter goes to mound to set up the defense. 

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Gore advances to third on a Perez groundout, brings up Omar Infante with two outs. 

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Gore holds firm at second while Gordon gets punched out on a borderline third strike. One out, one on in scoring position for Perez.

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Closer Zach Britton on to pitch and Butler greets him double to the left field gap, Gore on to pinch run. While Holland has been dominant, KC will take all the runs they can get. 

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Davis gets Pearce to ground out to third where Moustakas makes a strong throw across the diamond. The Royals are three outs away from sweeping the ALCS and going to the World Series.  

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Davis gives up an opposite field single to Nick Markakis, who represents the tying run with Steve Pearce at the plate. 

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Royals go quietly after the seventh inning stretch and we head to the eighth with Wade Davis toeing the rubber. His opponents’ batting average in the ALCS is .077

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Herrera stymies Caleb Joseph on the inner half of the plate to end of the seventh inning. Herrera’s line in the ALCS thus far: 5 2/3 innings, 0 earned runs (or any runs for that matter), 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hits. 

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Herrera back out for the seventh, fulfilling his normal role for the Royals strategy in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. Gets a ground ball out from Young for the first out. 

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Escobar can’t beat out a squibber to second base and the Royals are done in the sixth, still hanging on to a 2-1 lead… feels like it’s been 2-1 the entire time the series has been at Kauffman Stadium. 

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Moustakas strikes out and the Royals are now 0-11 with runners in scoring position. The two Royals runs came on an error by catcher Caleb Joseph. Orioles going to the bullpen for submarine pitcher Darren O’Day.   

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Royals have a rally working in the sixth, Gordon hit by a pitch and an Infante walk sandwiched around a Perez fly out have men on first and second for Moustakas. 

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A good look at that play by Infante, which happened while men were on first and third with two down. 

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Omar Infante makes a nice snag at second base with the sun in his eyes to steal an RBI from Nelson Cruz. Royals clinging to a 2-1 lead going to the bottom of the sixth. 

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Entering game 4, Herrera has only allowed one hit, one walk in 4 innings pitched in the series.   

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Vargas allows a leadoff walk to Schoop and then strikes out Markakis. He’s getting the hook, leaves to a standing ovation. Kelvin Herrera enters with one on, one out in the sixth inning

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Royals looking for Vargas to get through the 6th inning without surrendering a run to set up Herrera, Davis and Holland. In 22 collective innings the trio has only allowed 3 collective runs and 12 hits. 

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Butler hits the ball sharply, but right at J.J. Hardy for the third out of the 5th inning. At the top of the 6th, score remains 2-1, Royals lead. 

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Cain shoots a line drive up the middle off Gonzalez’s glove, the deflection saving a run and an out as Cain gets beat by half a step at first base. Hosmer getting intentionally walked for a righty-righty matchup with Billy Butler. 

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Orioles nearly double up Escobar and Aoki, a better throw from Hardy probably gets Aoki at first. But the throw was off line, Aoki at first with one out and Cain at the plate. 

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Alex Gordon with another standout catch in left field, crashes into the wall and holds on to retire J.J. Hardy

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Perfectly positioned, second baseman Jonathan Schoop scoops up a Moustakas ground ball up the middle and throws him out to end the fourth inning. Royals still ahead 2-1. 

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Unfortunate outcome for the hit and run, Gordon got a good jump, but Perez’s bloop out has him doubled off of first base, wiping out a leadoff walk.  

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Delmon Young hits another chopper to Escobar and the result is his second double play of the day. Vargas works around the Jones leadoff walk to keep the Royals ahead 2-1. 

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Vargas executes perfectly on 0-2 against Cruz, who chases the low changeup for a strikeout. 

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Always dangerous in the postseason, Nelson Cruz is up with Adam Jones on first after a leadoff walk.

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Third baseman Ryan Flaherty guards the line and makes a nice play on a hard hit ball by Butler, side retired with the Royals still leading 2-1 going to the fourth.  

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An Eric Hosmer single breaks a string of 8 consecutive Royals hitters retired by Miguel Gonzalez. Billy Butler up with two outs. 

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Alex Gordon makes it look easy in left, tracks down a line drive off the bat of Steve Pearce for the third out in the top of the 3rd inning. Vargas has now only given up 3 runs in 9 total innings of work this postseason, all 3 via solo home runs. 

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Ryan Flaherty crushes a pitch down the right field line for a solo home run and the Orioles are within a run, 2-1

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Gonzalez calms down and retires the 8-9-1 hitters in order to send Game 4 to the third inning. 

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J.J. Hardy bloops a single, but gets stranded after Gordon tracks down a well-hit ball by Caleb Joseph in left field. We head to the bottom of the second inning, 2-0 Royals. 

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Escobar with a nice play at second to turn a double play on a slow chopper wipes out a walk of Nelson Cruz. 

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Royals take advantage of early Baltimore miscues for a 2-0 lead. An Aoki hit by pitch and a slick slide at home by Escobar that jarred the ball from Caleb Joseph’s glove were the big plays.