No extra innings. No dramatic home runs. Not even a stolen base. Just a good old fashioned 2-1, grind it out victory for the Royals, who did it with a bases loaded ground out and a sacrifice fly.
The win puts them up 3-0 in the American League Championship Series with a chance to close it out Wednesday afternoon.
It started with a gritty performance from Jeremy Guthrie. He threw 94 pitches through five innings allowing just one run and only three hits. Two of those were back to back doubles in the second inning that put the Orioles up 1-0. Two of the rare times, an opponent was able to lift the ball to the outfield and have it drop between Gordon, Cain and Aoki.
With one out in the fourth, the Royals went to pecking away at Baltimore starter Wei Yin Chen. Singles by Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer blooped into the outfield and Chen got a little wild walking Billy Butler to load the bases. Alex Gordon who struck out five times in a row, got enough of a pitch to hit a slow chopper to second as the Royals pushed across a run to tie the game.
Jason Frasor, the 36 year old journey man, pitched his third inning of relief this post season and was the perfect gap filler to get to the seventh for the royalty of the bullpen.
The offense did just enough to give Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland the lead they needed to finish it off on the back end.
The blueprint was used again. Nori Aoki singled and Jarrod Dyson came on to run. He didn’t steal a base, but disrupted Chen enough that Hosmer was able to unleash a single to right moving Dyson easily over to third. Billy Butler’s sac fly to deep left easily scored Dyson with the go-ahead run.
“We’ve got a snowball effect going right now,” Butler said. “The confidence couldn’t be any higher. That’s when you come to the park each day, focus on the next pitch, focus on your job and just not be the guy to end the streak.”
The Orioles went down in order in the final three innings and it was another W for Kansas City in the postseason, giving them seven straight.