The Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in 12 innings to win the AL Wildcard game to advance in the MLB playoffs. Oakland led the ball game by four runs, but the Royals battled back to force extra innings and eventually win the ball game.
Salvadore Perez’s single into the left field corner scored Christian Colon from second base, to give the Kansas City Royals its first playoff win since game seven of the 1985 World Series. Colon stole second base, and was safe after Oakland’s catcher Derek Norris dropped the pitch.
Royals first basemen Eric Hosmer crushed a ball to deep left centerfield that hit off of the top of the wall. Johnny Gomes and Sam Fuld both made a play on the fly ball and were unable to get the ricochet, Hosmer reached third. A high chopper off the plate allowed Hosmer to score from third to tie the game at eight.
Kansas City relief pitcher John Frasor’s wild pitch allowed A’s right fielder Josh Reddick to advance to third. Alberto Calaspo hit a single to left field to send Reddick home.
Reddick walked in the top of the 12th and then stole second base. Royals manager Ned Yost removed rookie relief pitcher Brandon Finnegan from the game after the steal, he had worked 2.1 innings while striking out two, walking one, and giving up a hit.
Oakland started the game off quickly by scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. The Royals also scored a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
In the third inning, Kansas City scored two runs off of Lester to take a 3-2 lead. Shields held up his end of the deal and shut the Athletics in the fifth, but he couldn’t get anyone out in the sixth. Royals manager Ned Yost pulled him from the ball game, and called in Yordano Ventura. Ventura allowed five runs to score in that inning, giving Oakland a 7-3 lead.
The Royals bats went silent for the next inning and a third, as Lester mowed them down.
It was a melt down by Lester in the eighth inning that allowed Kansas City to extend the game. Royals short stop, and lead off man, reached on a single, stole second base, and then scored on a single by center fielder Lorenzo Cain. Cain would end up scoring on a single by designated hitter Billy Butler. Kansas City scored two more runs in the inning to get within one of Oakland
Kansas City tied the game at seven in the bottom of the ninth off of Oakland closer Sean Doolittle, when Norichka Aoki knocked in John Dyson with a deep sacrifice fly to right field.
The Royals were unable to do anything in the 10th or the 11th inning, despite the fact that Omar Infante was 90-feet away from home in the 11th. Infante reached on a single to right field in the bottom half of the 11th inning, and was moved over to third base by a pair of sacrifices. But the Royals were unable to score him, as Jayson Nix struck out on four pitches.
Oakland center fielder Coco Crisp left the game in the bottom of the 11th inning with an apparent hamstring injury.
Next up for Kansas City is the Loss Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the AL Division Series.
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