The Baltimore Orioles went into Kansas City down 2-0 in the American League Championship Series (ALCS). Desperately needing a win to keep their World Series dreams alive, Baltimore started one of their best pitchers; Wei-Yin Chen. While the Orioles were fighting just to stay alive, the Royals were looking to be the first team since the 2007 Colorado Rockies to win their first seven straight post season games.
The Orioles were first to get on the board. J.J. Hardy hit an RBI double in the top of the second which allowed Steve Pierce to walk across home plate. Chen pitched solid through the first three innings of play keeping the Orioles on top. In the fourth inning with one out Chen started to look a bit sloppy. After allowing two hits to center field, Chen then walked his first batter of the game. With the bases loaded Alex Gordon hit a grounder past first base. Orioles were able to make the play at first, but the damage was done as Lorenzo Cain scored on the play to even the game up 1-1 in this third game of the ALCS.
In the Top of the sixth inning third baseman Mike Moustakas got up close and personal with the fans. Running after a fly ball he leaned over the railing by the fans sitting in the dugout section. As he reached for the ball he flipped over the railing and into the fans several feet below. After a few seconds of confusion, “Moose” held up the ball and the Royal fans in attendance cheered, for they were just witness to one of the great plays of the post season. Game three of the ALCS was a low scoring affair for most of the game.
With only a handful of plays getting the crowd into the game, none bigger than “Moose’s” catch. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with one out, Eric Hosmer singled to right field sending Nori Aoki all the way from first to third. The Orioles manager had seen enough of Chen and brought in Kevin Gausman to try and get the Orioles out of a tough situation.
The first batter Gausman faced was Billy Butler who hit a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Jarrod Dyson to score from third. Just like so many of the Royals games, they started our down early in the game and rallied back; this time with a 2-1 lead.
To start off the seventh inning the Royals brought in Kelvin Herrera. Herrera had not allowed a batter to hit a home run off him since July of 2013. Herrera only had to face three batters, striking out two of them. Herrera was able to hold the lead for Kansas City. The Royals were now just six outs away from a commanding lead in the ALCS.
In the ninth inning the Orioles had hitters three four and five. The Royals knocked all three of them out. The Royals did not need extra innings this time, which they had grown accustomed to in this post season. Game three of the ALCS, the Royals did not even need to bat in all nine innings.
With a commanding 3-0 lead in the ALCS, the Royals now look to sweep the Orioles in four games. Game four of the ALCS starts tomorrow at 3:30pm eastern time in Kansas City. The Royals are just one game away from reaching their first World Series since 1985.
Commentary by Andy Lapic
Photo by Keith Allison –Flickr License