Royals Advance to ALDS
Any remaining critics of the MLB Wild Card games were surely silenced Sept. 30 when the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics completed one of the most thrilling postseason contests to date. For the host Royals in particular, the game was more than just a stepping stone into the American League Division Series as it also represented the franchise’s first MLB playoff appearance – and win – since its 1985 World Series title.
With the 9-8 triumph, the Royals will now move on to face the top-seeded Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the best-of-five ALDS. Shop Vivid Seats for Royals tickets to be there live throughout the team’s run in the 2014 MLB playoffs.
Twenty-nine years later, Kansas City made the wait worth it for fans packed in at Kauffman Stadium to watch the club overcome three separate deficits, including a 7-3 mark heading into the seventh. A three-run rally in the eighth pulled the Royals within one and facing elimination in the ninth, a sacrifice fly by Norichika Aoki scored Jarrod Dyson to force extra innings.
After nearly five hours of play, the 7-7 draw was finally broken in the top of the 12th when the A’s jumped ahead 8-7, forcing the Royals to once again dig deep to keep their postseason hopes alive. And indeed the magic did continue for the squad, as a one-out triple by Eric Hosmer set up an RBI infield single by Christian Colon to once again even the score. This time around, however, KC made sure to close the door on Oakland’s season as a two-out stolen base by Colon put him perfectly in scoring position for the next batter, Salvador Perez, whose expertly placed single to left sealed the 9-8 victory and advancement into the ALDS.
Check out a few notable stats and notes below compiled by the Elias Sports Bureau following the game:
- The 12-inning AL Wild Card contest matched the innings mark for baseball’s longest “winner-take-all” game, which was first set back during the 1924 World Series.
- Kansas City became just the fourth team to successfully rally back from a deficit of at least four runs and the first to accomplish the feat after being down in the sixth inning or later.
- The Royals’ seven stolen bases tied an MLB postseason team record for a single game