Royals sweep Angels in ALDS, advance to AL Championship Series to play Baltimore

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Royals are moving on to the American League Championship Series after sweeping the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in three games in the American League Division Series. Unlike games one and two, the Royals didn't need extra innings Sunday night, and coasted to an 8-3 victory before a raucous crowd at Kauffman Stadium.

The Angels jumped ahead with Mike Trout's first and only hit of the series, which flew into the left field fountains for a 1-0 lead.

However, that lead was short-lived. A pair of singles by Lorenzo Cain and Norichika Aoki and a two-out walk by Billy Butler set the stage for Alex Gordon. The left fielder launched a hit into the left center gap that cleared the bases, including a lumbering Billy Butler, who scored all the way from first base. The Royals led 3-1 and would never look back.

Eric Hosmer pushed the lead to 5-1 with his second home run of the series in the bottom of the third inning. Another notable play in third happened after Billy Butler walked and then swiped second base for his first stolen base since early July of 2012.

Mike Moustakas answered an Albert Pujols home run with one of his own in the fourth inning and Alcides Escobar scored on a sacrifice fly to extend the Royals lead to 7-2 headed in to the latter innings.

After Pujols' home run, Royals pitching locked down the Angels like it did for the majority of the series. The Angels only mustered four hits and a single run through the last five innings. Lorenzo Cain didn't do the Angels any favors in center field, snagging two line drives off the bats of Pujols and Howie Kendrick in spectacular fashion.

For the series the Angels were mostly hapless, only hitting .170 as a team with only seven extra base hits, four of those were solo home runs. Furthermore, heavy hitters Trout, Pujols and Josh Hamilton combined to go 3 for 37 with a collective four RBIs.

Closer Greg Holland entered the game in the ninth and was his customary, unhittable self. After striking out Hank Conger and inducing a Kole Calhoun line out to second, Holland stuck out Trout to complete the sweep.

The Royals now face the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series. Game 1 is this coming Friday night and both time and starting pitchers have yet to be determined, for a full list of series dates, click on this link and scroll down to league championship series.







Andrew Lynch October 5, 201411:50 pm

Okay…. one more.

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201411:48 pm

As we call it a wrap on the blog tonight, here’s one final image from the locker room, hoping that two more nights like this are in store!

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201411:21 pm

The scoreboard at Kauffman is awesome to begin with, but on a night like tonight it looks even better. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201410:49 pm

A glimpse into the winning locker room:

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Andrew Lynch October 5, 201410:40 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201410:33 pm

Royals fans have been showing out in both playoff games at Kauffman Stadium, look at all those people that are sticking around and all those brooms!

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201410:30 pm

As Al Wallce said, this is the scene right now in the Royals clubhouse, but with different shirts.

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201410:29 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201410:11 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201410:10 pm

Holland in to close the door, Hank Conger pinch hits for Kole Calhoun

Andrew Lynch October 5, 201410:00 pm

Wade Davis fired up as he strikes out Cron to end the Angels at bat in the eighth with the damage limited to 1 run. The Royals need 3 more outs to make their to the American League Championship Series.

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:58 pm

Hamilton rolls over and grounds out to first, but the out is good for an RBI as Kendrick comes in to score, Royals now lead 8-3, top 8 with 2 outs. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:51 pm

As I’m sure many people will be…

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:45 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:40 pm

Our favorite fan from South Korea is excited…

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:39 pm

Herrera appears to be fine after exiting game 1 of the ALDS when he only faced one batter. A simple 1-2-3 inning sends us to the seventh inning stretch, Royals ahead 8-2

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:34 pm

Herrera coming out throwing smoke, strikes out Kole Calhoun on a 101 mph fastball. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:31 pm

Kelvin Herrera coming into the game for the Royals in the seventh with KC up 8-2. James Shields goes six innings, striking out six and allowing six hits, two earned runs and is in line for the win. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:20 pm

Don’t know if any amount of rain can put a damper on the mood at Kauffman right now, but there’s this from FOX 4 Weather:

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More fun with stats, Josh Hamilton’s 2014 salary was $17 million, he remains hitless in the series after flying out to center in the sixth. He made more than Salvador Perez, Eric Hosmer, Greg Holland, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, Wade Davis and Yordano Ventura made combined, with about $1 million to spare ($16,170,500).

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:08 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20149:05 pm

James Shields strikes out Chris Ianetta after a Yost visit to the mound, with Finnegan warming up for a second time in the game that may be it for the ace. We go to the bottom of the seventh, Royals lead 7-2. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:53 pm

Taking the Angels batting statistics a step further, the team is now hitting only .165 in the series, with 6 extra base hits, 4 of those solo home runs. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:45 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:44 pm

Lorenzo Cain makes a diving catch on a sinking line drive not once, but twice to rob Pujols and Howie Kendrick of RBI singles. The Angels are now 1-20 with runners in scoring position in the series. Royals take a 7-2 lead to the bottom of the fifth inning. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:32 pm

Well… that’s unfortunate.

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:24 pm

Cain ensures the Royals get the seventh run with a sacrifice fly that scores Escobar. As a bonus, Aoki tags up and gets in scoring position. Angels going to their 5th pitcher of the night, now trail 7-2. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:22 pm

Umpires miss an obvious balk, that for the time being costs the Royals a run as Escobar should have been at third base when Aoki slashed an infield single. As it is, Royals have men at the corners and one out with Cain at the plate.

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:16 pm

Mike Moustakas takes a low fastball out of the park and the Royals get the run they surrendered right back, now lead 6-2…. haven’t heard it before just now, but as Moose trotted around the bases, music from the movie Angels in the Outfield. Well played, Royals!

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:14 pm

James Shields fans C.J. Cron to escape the top of the fourth. Angels draw closer at 5-2, Shields has struck out four so far tonight. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:09 pm

Josh Hamilton beats out a double play and the tying run is at the plate with two outs in the top of the fourth. Bullpen starts stirring with Brandon Finnegan warming up, Cron at the plate for the Angels. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20148:02 pm

While Erick Aybar’s double won’t delight many Royals fans, Cain makes a big play in center field to cut the ball off, keeping Aybar from reaching third with only one out. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:59 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:58 pm

Former Maple Woods Monarch Albert Pujols probably has some friends and family in the stands, and hits a solo home run to left field that brings the Angels closer, 5-2 in the top of the fourth inning. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:50 pm

If you allow Billy Butler to steal second base, it’s probably time to go. Hector Santiago gets the hook. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:46 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:44 pm

Eric Hosmer hits his second home run in an as many games and the Royals extend the lead to 5-1 in the 3rd inning…. Fans all over Kauffman waving brooms, thinking about a possible sweep.

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Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:34 pm

Trout is swift, but Shields gets the best of him in his second at bat by inducing a ground out that Trout barely missed beating out. Shields has retired the last six hitters. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:32 pm

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:31 pm

From FOX 4’s Jason Lamb on Facebook: 

Royals President Dan Glass gave his Crown Club front row seats for ALDS Game 3 to Tim Grimes. Tim recently learned he has advanced stage skin cancer, and he and the Royals seem to be inspiring each other. Check out #RoyalsWinForTim — with Tim Grimes,Ryan Schuepbach and M Tyler Martin.

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:26 pm
Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:25 pm

Royals go 1-2-3 in the second, Shields heads to the mound with Chris Ianetta, Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout due up for Los Angeles. 

Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:21 pm

    Get comfortable, tonight might feel as long as game 1 and 2 given that the Angels will take the ‘Johnny Wholestaff’ approach, likely emptying the bullpen by the time the game is over. Hector Santiago is already the 3rd pitcher used by the Angels. 

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:18 pm

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:14 pm

    Shields works around around a leadoff single and wild pitch, stranding Erick Aybar at second base and game 3 heads to the bottom of the second inning, KC leads 3-1.

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:06 pm

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20147:04 pm

    The Royals carry a 3-1 lead into the second inning. The final line on Wilson, 2/3 of an inning, 3 hits, 3 earned runs 1 walk and 1 strikeout.  

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    Gordon knocks in three with a bases clearing triple that scored Billy Butler from first base. That chases Angels starter C.J. Wilson after only 2/3 of an inning, Vinnie Pestano in to relieve.

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20146:55 pm

    Alex Gordon will bat with two outs and the bases loaded following a Billy Butler walk. C.J. Wilson’s shakiness prompts pitching coach Mike Butcher to visit the mound. 

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20146:51 pm

    Royals offense goes right to work, Aoki and Cain hit back-to-back singles, bringing up Hosmer with one out. 

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20146:48 pm

    Need the offense to get rolling so fans can put these towels to use. 

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20146:43 pm

    Aside from Trout’s homer, Shields was efficient in the first inning, throwing 10 pitches and we head to the bottom of the first, Royals trail 1-0. 

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20146:42 pm

    Mike Trout had been hitless in the series before launching a James Shields’ pitch into the left field fountains, Los Angeles leads 1-0 after the solo home run. 

    Andrew Lynch October 5, 20146:39 pm

    Royals’ fans came prepared with brooms in anticipation of an ALDS sweep: