American League Championship Series Game Capsule
(Wednesday, October 15)
Final Score: Kansas City 2, Baltimore 1
Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - After nearly three decades of toiling as one of baseball's peasants, the Kansas City Royals are once again kings of the American League. Behind yet another outstanding effort from their overlooked pitching staff, the remarkable Royals finished off a sweep of the Baltimore Orioles with a 2-1 triumph in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series to reach the Fall Classic for the first time since 1985. Alcides Escobar came through with two hits and the game's biggest play in Kansas City's eighth consective win of this postseason, knocking the ball loose from Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph on a first-inning slide that enabled the first two runs to score. Jason Vargas and a bullpen that's been virtually impenetrable during these playoffs took it from there, with the Orioles mustering a mere three hits other than Ryan Flaherty's solo home run in the third inning. Vargas (1-0) yielded just two hits, including Flaherty's blast, and three walks over 5 1/3 effective innings before the trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland once again slammed the door on the AL East champions. Kansas City now gets a chance to rest before continuing their unforeseen run, with Game 1 of the World Series to be held Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals will face either San Francisco or in-state rival St. Louis, whom they toppled in seven games in 1985 to capture their only world title. The eight straight victories to begin a postseason established a new MLB record, breaking the mark of seven in a row set by the 1976 Cincinnati Reds and matched by the 2007 Colorado Rockies. Baltimore amassed 96 regular-season wins on the strength of one of the league's most powerful offenses, but had its bats silenced for a second straight night. The Orioles managed only three hits in dropping Tuesday's Game 3, also by a 2-1 count.
10/15 19:13:19 ET