2014 American League Division Series 1
|2014 American League Division Series|
|Kansas City Royals
89 - 73 in the AL
|3 - 0
|Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim|
98 - 64 in the AL
|1||Kansas City Royals 3 Los Angeles Angels 2||October 2||Jason Vargas (0-0) Jered Weaver (0-0)||9:07 pm|
|2||Kansas City Royals 4 Los Angeles Angels 1||October 3||Yordano Ventura (0-0) Matt Shoemaker (0-0)||9:37 pm|
|3||Los Angeles Angels 3 Kansas City Royals 8||October 5||C.J. Wilson (0-1) James Shields (1-0)||7:37 pm|
Game 1 @ Angel Stadium of Anaheim
|WP: Danny Duffy (1-0), LP: Fernando Salas (0-1), SV: Greg Holland (1)|
|Home Runs: LA - Chris Iannetta (1), David Freese (1); KC - Mike Moustakas (1)|
- Attendance: 45,321
Game 1 turned out to be a very tense battle, needing extra innings to crown a winner. The Royals were on a huge high after their thrilling victory over the Oakland A's in the Wild Card Game and used the same line-up as in that game, with veteran lefthander and former Angel Jason Vargas taking the mound in spite of struggling badly in September. For Los Angeles, LF Josh Hamilton was back in LF after missing most of September with an injury, and their ace, Jered Weaver, was the starting pitcher.
In the 1st, the Royals tried to play the running game that had served them so well against the A's, but it backfired as RF Nori Aoki was picked off first base by Weaver to end the inning. In the 3rd, they drew first blood when 3B Mike Moustakas drew a two-out walk and SS Alcides Escobar followed with a double that scored him. The lead did not last long, however, as C Chris Iannetta homered off Vargas in the bottom of the 3rd, tying the score at 1. The Royals re-took the lead in the 5th, when LF Alex Gordon led off with a double, advanced on a fly out by C Salvador Perez and scored on a sacrifice fly by 2B Omar Infante. But once again, that lead did not last as 3B David Freese led off the bottom of the 5th with a solo homer.
The 2-2 score remained unchanged through regulation innings. Vargas exited after pitching 6 innings, with Kelvin Herrera being the first of seven relief pitchers who would see action for the Royals; he lasted only a batter, walking lead-off man Freese before exiting with an elbow injury while facing SS Erick Aybar. Rookie Brandon Finnegan took over, getting two outs while Gordon Beckham, pinch-running for Freese, advanced to third base. Kansas City manager Ned Yost now called on set-up man Wade Davis. DH C.J. Cron crushed a pitch towards the right field corner, but Aoki made a nice diving catch at the warning track to end the inning; he had also ended the 6th by catching 2B Howard Kendrick's long drive to right-center with two men on base, just two of a number of sparkling defensive plays by Kansas City during the game, with CF Lorenzo Cain robbing the Angels of extra bases on a couple of occasions. Weaver gave way to Joe Smith in the top of the 8th and got the Royals in order. Davis then issued a pair of walks to the Angels in the bottom of the 8th, but got out of the jam. In the 9th, with a save no longer possible, Angels closer Huston Street got the Royals out in order, and diminutive lefty Tim Collins took the mound for Kansas City. He hit Beckham, who had stayed in the game to play third, with a pitch, and Aybar moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. However, Collins struck out Hamilton in a key situation, then Jason Frasor came in to pitch. He walked Cron, but Iannetta lined a pitch off his glove towards Escobar, who fielded the ball and threw him out at first base, forcing extra innings.
In the 10th, facing Kevin Jepsen, Kansas City tried to use its running game again. DH Billy Butler drew a one-out walk and Terrance Gore ran for him, quickly stealing second. He could not get any farther, however, as after an intentional walk to Gordon, Perez and Infante both made outs to end the inning. In the bottom half, RF Kole Calhoun led off with a single against Danny Duffy, but the next three batters made outs. Fernando Salas came in to pitch for the Angels, but Moustakas greeted him with a line drive into the right field stands for a 3-2 lead; It was only the Royals' fourth hit of the game, and the first since the 5th inning, but it turned out to be a game winner. The next three batters made outs, and closer Greg Holland was summoned to pitch the bottom of the 11th, just back from attending the birth of his child in North Carolina. He got Beckham and Aybar to strike out swinging and Hamilton to pop out to Moustakas at third base, and the Royals were up, one game to none.
Game 2 @ Angel Stadium of Anaheim
|WP: Brandon Finnegan (1-0), LP: Kevin Jepsen (0-1), SV: Greg Holland (2)|
|Home Runs: KC - Eric Hosmer (1)|
- Attendance: 45,361
Another postseason game, another win in extra innings for the Royals, as they once again stunned the Angels in Game 2, with 1B Eric Hosmer's two-run homer in the top of the 11th proving the fatal blow in a 4-1 win. The game started off as a duel of brilliant rookie pitchers, Matt Shoemaker for the Angels and Yordano Ventura for the Royals. Both of them were as good as advertised, Shoemaker only allowing an unearned run in six innings of work, while Ventura also limited his opponents to one run, in seven innings. Both teams used the same starting line-ups as in Game 1.
In the 1st inning, Angels CF and leading MVP candidate Mike Trout, who had been completely quiet in the opener, reached base on a force out, but was thrown out attempting to steal second base. In the top of the 2nd, the Royals scored the game's first run when Hosmer singled to RF Kole Calhoun then took second when Calhoun let the ball escape from him; one out later, LF Alex Gordon singled to center to drive him in. That was just about the only offensive action until the bottom of the 6th, as both young pitchers were completely in control of things. The Angels tied the score in the 6th when Calhoun singled with two outs, Trout walked and 1B Albert Pujols, the other quiet man in the middle of Los Angeles's batting order, singled to right.
Jason Grilli replaced Shoemaker to start the 7th and he pitched a perfect inning, as did Joe Smith in the 8th. Ventura was replaced after retiring the Angels in order in the bottom of the 7th, but Wade Davis gave up a double to DH C.J. Cron to lead off the bottom of the 8th. Collin Cowgill ran for Cron but in one of the game's key plays, C Chris Iannetta lined a ball to CF Jarrod Dyson, who had just come in as a defensive substitute, who nailed down Cowgill trying to advance to third with an outstanding throw to 3B Mike Moustakas. Against closer Huston Street in the top of the 9th, Hosmer again got on base with a one-out walk, but he was forced out by DH Billy Butler. Royals manager Ned Yost inserted Terrance Gore as a pinch-runner for Butler, and he promptly stole second, to which Angels manager Mike Scioscia replied by issuing an intentional walk to Gordon. C Salvador Perez had a chance to put his team ahead, but he grounded to third to end the inning. Jason Frasor then retired the Angels in order in the bottom of the 9th, and extra innings were again required.
Kansas City could do nothing in Street's second inning of work in the 10th, but the Angels put a runner on against young Brandon Finnegan in the bottom of the inning as 3B David Freese drew a one-out walk. Scioscia replaced Freese with pinch-runner Gordon Beckham, but the additional speed did not help as LF Josh Hamilton grounded to first base, where the slick-fielding Hosmer started a 3-6-3 double play. Kevin Jepsen was the next Angel pitcher called to the mound, and he got Dyson to fly out before RF Lorenzo Cain singled, barely beating out SS Erick Aybar's throw while running full tilt. Hosmer then came up and sent Jepsen's next pitch flying over the right field wall for a two-run homer. The Angels were stunned, but would suffer some more, as Gordon drew a two-out walk, which pushed Scioscia to replace Jepsen with Vinnie Pestano. Gordon stole second and advanced to third when Iannetta's throw ended up in center field. Perez then singled him in for an insurance run. Out came closer Greg Holland to pitch the bottom of the inning. He struck out pinch-hitter Efren Navarro and retired Iannetta on a ground ball before Calhoun hit another grounder, to 2B Omar Infante. He threw wildly to first, giving Los Angeles a short reprieve, but Holland then ended the game by getting Trout to strike out swinging, leaving the Angels' superstar hitless after the first two games. The Royals were the first team in history to win three consecutive postseason games in extra innings, and were heading home with their confidence sky-high and a 2-0 stranglehold on the series.
Game 3 @ Kauffman Stadium
|WP: James Shields (1-0), LP: C.J. Wilson (0-1)|
|Home Runs: LA - Mike Trout (1), Albert Pujols (1); KC - Eric Hosmer (2), Mike Moustakas (2)|
- Attendance: 40,657
The Royals completed their sweep of the Angels with an 8-3 win at home in Game 3, recording a significant upset. They had their pitcher with the most postseason experience on the mound "Big Game" James Shields, and he was able to overcome an early blip as Kansas City feasted on Angels starter C.J. Wilson, who failed to make it out of the 1st inning. No extra frames were needed this time.
The Angels took an early lead in the game when the second batter of the contest, CF Mike Trout, got his first hit of the series when he homered to left field to open the scoring. However, that lead barely lasted: after one out in the bottom of the inning, RF Nori Aoki and CF Lorenzo Cain hit back-to-back singles, then after 1B Eric Hosmer struck out, DH Billy Butler drew a walk to load the bases. Alex Gordon then cleared the bases with a double to center, it was 3-1 Kansas City. Wilson's night was already over after six batters, as he was replaced by Vinnie Pestano. Pestano finished the inning and got the first out of the 2nd, then Hector Santiago came in to pitch. However, the Royals were back at it in the 3rd, and Aoki again started things, this time with a lead-off walk. One out later, Hosmer homered to center for a 5-1 lead. The Angels were completely rattled, as proven by the fact that Butler then walked and, with the Angels not paying him any attention, stole second base, only his fifth theft in over 1,100 career games. After a second out, Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia called for his fourth pitcher of the evening, Mike Morin, who got the final out of the inning.
1B Albert Pujols led off the top of the 4th with a solo homer off Shields, cutting the lead to 5-2. After one out, SS Erick Aybar doubled and 3B David Freese was hit by a pitch, but just when it looked like the Angels were about to get back into the game, LF Josh Hamilton hit a ground ball, forcing Freese at second base, and DH C.J. Cron struck out to end the threat. The Royals then made sure Los Angeles would not bring the potential tying run to the plate again by scoring twice more in the bottom of the 4th, on a solo homer by 3B Mike Moustakas, a single by SS Alcides Escobar, a wild pitch by Morin, a single by Aoki and a sacrifice fly by Cain. That latest run ended Morin's night, in came Fernando Salas, already L.A.'s fifth pitcher. Kansas City was ahead, 7-2 and in full control.
Shields allowed a few baserunners, but was solid for six innings apart from the two solo homers. Meanwhile, the Angels kept using one pitcher per inning, and not all of them were on their game. Jason Grilli got through the 5th unscathed, but in the 6th, Kevin Jepsen let in run number 8 on a walk to 2B Omar Infante and a pair of singles, with Aoki tallying the RBI. That brought in Cory Rasmus as pitcher number 8. The game was now lost, and he would be the last Angels moundman, mopping up the last 2 2/3 innings. The Angels scored a last run against Wade Davis in the 8th, but it was too little too late, as that only made the final score 8-3.
- Matt Fulks: Out Of The Blue: The Kansas City Royals' Historic 2014 Season, Triumph Books, Chicago, IL, 2015. ISBN 978-1-6293-7118-4
|Major League Baseball American League Division Series