Final/12
  for this game

Comeback for Kings: Royals stun A's in extras

Oct 1, 2014 - 6:45 AM Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Fans of the Kansas City Royals, starved from postseason baseball for 29 years, were deservedly rewarded with an epic comeback in a wildly entertaining AL wild card showdown on Tuesday.

The Royals scored three runs in the eighth inning, another in the ninth to force extras and added two more in the 12th to steal a 9-8 victory over the stunned Oakland Athletics.

Alberto Callaspo had given the A's an 8-7 lead with an RBI single in the 12th, but run-scoring hits from Christian Colon and Salvador Perez in the bottom half capped an instant classic that lasted four hours, 45 minutes.

Kansas City advanced to take on the Angels in the ALDS, which begins Thursday in Anaheim.

"That's the most incredible game that I've ever been a part of," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

The win-or-go-home matchup was billed as a pitching duel between James Shields and Jon Lester -- two aces built for this type of situation -- and neither delivered a quality start.

Instead, it was the Royals' small-ball heroics that was the difference, as they swiped seven bases and came through with timely two-out hits.

Brandon Moss smacked two homers and drove in five runs for the A's, whose collapse mirrored their entire second half, as they backed into the playoffs despite a dreadful .433 winning percentage after the All-Star break.

Lester was staked to a 7-3 lead after the A's poured in five runs in the sixth inning, and the midseason acquisition was cruising having retired 13 of 14 hitters entering the eighth.

The vibe in Kauffman Stadium turned when Alcides Escobar began the inning with a single, stole second and scored on a Lorenzo Cain base hit.

"I thought he was really good after giving up a couple of runs," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Lester. "He really settled in great. He just tired there late. He toughened up when he had to."

After Lester was pulled with two on and one out, Billy Butler drove in another run with a single, and a Luke Gregerson wild pitch allowed Eric Hosmer to scamper home, cutting Kansas City's deficit to 7-6.

Gregerson escaped the jam with a pair of strikeouts, but the A's returned the favor by leaving the bases loaded in the ninth and watching their closer, Sean Doolittle, blow the lead in the bottom half.

Josh Willingham led off with a pinch-hit single, and Jarrod Dyson took over on the basepaths. A bunt moved Dyson into scoring position, and the speedster took third to set up Norichika Aoki's game-tying sacrifice fly.

Brandon Finnegan threw scoreless ball in the 10th and 11th innings just three months removed from being selected in the first round of the draft, but the 21-year-old gave up a leadoff walk to Josh Reddick in the 12th.

A bunt and a Jason Frasor (1-0) wild pitch moved Reddick to third, and Callaspo drove him home with a pinch-hit single to left.

Hosmer gave Kansas City life by legging out a one-out triple off Dan Otero (0-1) when Jonny Gomes and Sam Fuld both misplayed his line drive off the left-field wall. Colon's chopper to third allowed Hosmer to slide in with the tying run, and another steal moved the winning run into scoring position.

"(Colon) came up right after me, being a rookie and in a playoff situation like that, you know even though it was off the plate, he looked comfortable in there and got the job done," Hosmer said.

With two outs and Jason Hammel on the hill, Perez provided the game-winner with a sharp one-hopper past a diving Josh Donaldson at third.

Moss showed the power he displayed in the first half of the season with a no- doubter into the right-field seats in the opening frame. Oakland's cleanup hitter finished the year with 25 homers but had just two after July 24.

"For him to come out and do what he did, especially against guys like Shields and (Yordano) Ventura, it just makes it that much more impressive," Reddick said of Moss.

Two batters after Coco Crisp led off the game with a base hit, Moss clobbered an 0-1 changeup over the bullpen and into the seats for an early cushion.

The Royals answered with a run in their first at-bat but may have had more if not for a blunder on the bases. Butler laced a two-out single that knocked in Aoki and left runners on the corners.

With Alex Gordon at the plate, Butler wandered aimlessly off first base, and Lester caught the slow-footed designated hitter in a rundown. Hosmer had no choice but to break for home and was easily thrown out, though catcher Geovany Soto suffered an injury to his left thumb on the tag and was replaced by Derek Norris in the third inning.

After Moss lined into a double play to end the top of the third, Kansas City plated a pair of two-out runs to take their only lead, as Cain doubled in Mike Moustakas and came around when Hosmer blooped one into short left.

Oakland ran up Shields' pitch count and forced Yost to make a decision after his starter gave up a single and a walk to open the sixth.

Instead of using the bullpen that got him there, Yost opted for rookie Ventura, a 23-year-old starter whose relief experience consisted of one stint on July 13.

Ventura was off the plate on his first two pitches before catching too much of it with a 98-m.p.h. fastball, which Moss crushed to straightaway center for a three-run blast and a 5-3 Oakland lead.

"We wanted to bring the gas," Yost said of the decision to bring in Ventura.

Moss' second home run gave Shields a final line of four runs allowed on five hits and two walks over five-plus frames.

Norris and Crisp tacked on RBI singles against Kelvin Herrera later in the frame.

Game Notes

The Royals recorded 15 hits to Oakland's 13 ... Kansas City was hosting its first playoff game since the 1985 World Series ... Lester entered with a career 2.11 ERA in the postseason and was 9-3 lifetime against the Royals. He was charged with six runs on eight hits over 7 1/3 innings ... The A's swept the Royals in the 1981 ALDS in their only other playoff meeting.






  • 236 Wow. Amazing comeback by the Royals

    Athletics 8, Royals 9  Final/12Oct 1 7:09 AM
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  • OAKLAND: 8
    KANSAS CITY: 9
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  • Salvador Perez singled to left scored Christian Colon with two outs to win the game.

    Athletics 8, Royals 9  Bot 12, 2 OutsOct 1 12:55 AM
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    Athletics 8, Royals 8  Bot 12, 2 OutsOct 1 12:49 AM
  • mark This is ridiculous!

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  • Christian Colon single to third scored Eric Hosmer with one out. Runner on first and Alex Gordon due up.

    Athletics 8, Royals 8  Bot 12, 1 OutOct 1 12:42 AM
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  • Pinch-Hitter Alberto Callaspo single to left scored Josh Reddick with one out. Runner on first and Derek Norris due up.

    Athletics 8, Royals 7  Top 12, 1 OutOct 1 12:29 AM
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  • Norichika Aoki sacrifice fly to right scored Jarrod Dyson with two out. None on with two outs and Lorenzo Cain due up.

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  • Luke Gregerson wild pitch scored Eric Hosmer with one out. Runner on third with one out and Alex Gordon at the plate.

    Athletics 7, Royals 6  Bot 8, 1 OutSep 30 11:11 PM


  • Billy Butler single to right scored Lorenzo Cain with one out. On the play, Eric Hosmer advances to third. Runners on first and third with one out and Alex Gordon due up.

    Athletics 7, Royals 5  Bot 8, 1 OutSep 30 11:08 PM
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  • Lorenzo Cain single to center scored Alcides Escobar with one out. Runner on first with one out and Eric Hosmer due up.

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  • Coco Crisp single to center scored Derek Norris with two out. On the play, Eric Sogard advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Sam Fuld due up.

    Athletics 7, Royals 3  Top 6, 2 OutsSep 30 10:14 PM


  • Derek Norris single to center scored Josh Reddick with two out. Runner on first with two outs and Eric Sogard due up.

    Athletics 6, Royals 3  Top 6, 2 OutsSep 30 10:11 PM
  • 236 Oof... bullpen implosion for the Royals

    Athletics 5, Royals 3  Top 6, 1 OutSep 30 10:04 PM


  • Brandon Moss none-out, three-run Home Run 2 (2) to center scored Sam Fuld and Josh Donaldson. Josh Reddick due up.

    Athletics 5, Royals 3  Top 6, 0 OutsSep 30 9:59 PM
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  • Eric Hosmer single to left scored Lorenzo Cain with two out. Runner on first with two outs and Billy Butler due up.

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  • Lorenzo Cain double to left scored Mike Moustakas with two out. Runner on second with two outs and Eric Hosmer due up.

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  • Billy Butler single to left scored Norichika Aoki with two out. On the play, Eric Hosmer advances to third. Runners on first and third with two outs and Alex Gordon due up.

    Athletics 2, Royals 1  Bot 1, 2 OutsSep 30 8:34 PM


  • Brandon Moss two-out, two-run Home Run (1) to right scored Coco Crisp. Josh Reddick due up.

    Athletics 2, Royals 0  Top 1, 2 OutsSep 30 8:17 PM


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    Sep 30 8:09 PM
  • 236 Finally the postseason, when it's safe to bet on games..lol

    Lester vs. Shields

    A's have the better lineup and pitcher, but Shields can always have a great game.

    I got A's by a little.

    Athletics vs. RoyalsSep 30 7:27 PM
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