The Royals’ first World Series since 1985. They’ll face the winner of the NLCS between the Giants and Cardinals after another 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium. Game one is next Tuesday with the first two games in Kansas City.
Closer Greg Holland got J.J. Hardy to ground out to third base for the final out, ending 29 years of baseball frustration.
The crafty, go against the grain Royals grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back.
Alcides Escobar singled off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez and Nori Aoki was hit on the knee. Ned Yost then opted to bunt with Lorenzo Cain, the ALCS MVP, to advance both of the runners. Eric Hosmer followed with a hopper to first baseman Steve Pearce who went home with it. Escobar slid safely and the ball got away from catcher Caleb Joseph, allowing Aoki to score.
Jason Vargas’ lone run came on a lead off homer by Ryan Flaherty in third. Vargas allowed two hits and three walks in 5.1 innings. The high power Baltimore offense was held to two runs and seven hits over the 18 innings in Kansas City.
“Man, it’s incredible,” said Hosmer. “These guys every day come to play. If they’re not doing it offensively, they’re doing it defensively with the glove, just playing complete games and we’ve got guys stepping up right now.”
The Royals are the first team to win their first eight postseason games. Going back to 1985, they’ve won 11 in a row.
“I tell you what, we waited for this for a while, but it is worth it,” Royals chairman/owner David Glass said during the AL trophy presentation. “I couldn’t be prouder of that team. On behalf of my family, Dayton Moore, Ned, the coaches, the players, I think I speak for all of us when I say we dedicate this trophy to these fans.”