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Perez Sends Royals into ALDS with 12th Inning Single

Perez Sends Royals into ALDS with 12th Inning Single

Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — Salvador Perez’s walk-off single with two outs in the 12th sent the Kansas City Royals past the Oakland Athletics 9-8 Tuesday night, in the American League Wild Card game.

After the Athletics took the lead in the top of the 12th on an Alberto Callaspo RBI single, the Royals answered back. Eric Hosmer hit a triple and then scored the tying run on Christian Colon’s RBI infield single. Colon then stole second base before scoring the game-winner on Perez’s clutch hit.

“This will go down as the craziest game I’ve ever played,” Hosmer said. “This team showed a lot of character. No one believed in us before the game. No one believed in us before the season.”

Hosmer is right, the game was pretty crazy. The Royals, who were playing in their first postseason since 1985, were leading 3-2 in the sixth inning when starting pitcher James Shields allowed a hit and then walked a batter. That prompted Kansas City skipper Ned Yost to pull Shields for rookie Yordano Ventura. Ventura then allowed a three-run home run to Brandon Moss, his second homer of the game, to make it 5-3. The A’s added two more runs that inning, creating a deficit that appeared the Royals would not overcome. But Kansas City clawed out three runs in the eighth and Norichicka Aoki’s sacrifice fly in the ninth sent the game into extra innings.

This is the Athletics seventh-straight loss in a winner-take-all playoff game since 2000.

The Royals now advance to take on the Los Angeles Angels in their best-of-five Division Series. Game 1 is Thursday night in Los Angeles.

 

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Scoreboard Roundup – 9/30/14

Scoreboard Roundup – 9/30/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — MLB American League Wild Card: Kansas City Royals 9 – Oakland Athletics 8 – 12 Innings (Royals Advance)

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MLB Postseason Matchups Set

MLB Postseason Matchups Set

Zoonar/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It took all 162 games, but the Major League postseason was decided on Sunday as the top 10 teams found out where and when their next games will be. Both the American League and National League Central division titles were also won on Sunday while the final AL Wild Card spot was decided.

David Price tossed seven and one-third innings of shutout baseball, giving up four hits and striking out eight, to give the Detroit Tigers the AL Central crown for the fourth straight year. Ian Kinsler drove in a pair of runs in the 3-0 victory while Joe Nathan picked up his 35th save of the season. The Tigers will travel to AL East Champion Baltimore to begin best-of-five divisional series against the Orioles on Thursday.

The Tigers’ victory means that Kansas City’s first postseason appearance in 29 years will come in the Wild Card round. The Royals will host the Oakland Athletics, who eliminated the Seattle Mariners with a 4-0 win over the Texas Rangers Sunday, in a one-game “play-in” on Tuesday night. The winner of that contest will then travel to Los Angeles to battle the Angels in the divisional round, beginning Thursday.

In the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 after they were already crowned Central division champs. Pittsburgh’s 4-1 loss relegated the Pirates to the Wild Card round where they will host the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday. Whoever advances will then visit the Washington Nationals, winner of the NL East, in the divisional series on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals begin their defense of the NL Pennant on Friday when they travel to NL West champion Los Angeles to battle with the Dodgers.

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Nationals, Angels Clinch Home-Field Advantage

Nationals, Angels Clinch Home-Field Advantage

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — With just two days remaining in the regular season, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Washington Nationals each clinched home-field advantage through the playoffs in their respective leagues on Friday.

For the Nationals (94-66), their double header split with the Miami Marlins earned them the top seed in the National League. Washington got a complete game from Doug Fister in Game One, winning it 4-0 to wrap up home-field until the World Series. Fister allowed just three hits while striking out nine in the win. Miami (77-83) went on to win the nightcap 15-7 in a meaningless game for the Nationals.

The Angels (98-62) could clinch the top seed in the American League with a win over Seattle, but the Mariners hit three home runs and picked up a 4-3 victory. Los Angeles did get home-field advantage however due to Baltimore’s 4-2 loss in Toronto. Leading 4-0 after five innings, the Mariners (85-75) held off a late charge from LA to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Seattle sits two games back of Oakland for the second wild card spot.

This is the second time in three seasons that Washington has the top record in the NL while the Angels clinched the top spot in the AL for the first time since 2008. The American League has home-field advantage in the World Series thanks to a 5-3 win in the All-Star Game.

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Royals Clinch First Postseason Berth Since 1985

Royals Clinch First Postseason Berth Since 1985

Zoonar/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — For the first time in 29 years, the Kansas City Royals are heading to the playoffs. Kansas City clinched their first postseason berth since 1985 with a 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Friday night, ending the longest playoff drought in any of the four major North American sports.

Jeremy Guthrie (13-11) tossed seven scoreless innings for the Royals (88-72), who scored three times in the first inning. Norichika Aoki tripled, scoring Alcides Escobar, while a pair of RBI singles from Lorenzo Cain and Billy Butler added to the advantage.

It the White Sox (72-88) until the eighth inning before finally scoring, getting an RBI single from Alexei Ramirez. In the bottom of the ninth, Greg Holland retired the side in order, getting Michael Taylor to pop up to secure the win. The last time Kansas City was in the postseason, George Brett led the squad to a World Series title over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Royals are still in contention for the AL Central division crown. The Detroit Tigers sit just one game ahead in the standings with two contests left in the regular season.

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Cardinals Clinch Playoff Spot, Lose to Reds

Cardinals Clinch Playoff Spot, Lose to Reds

Major League Baseball(SAINT LOUIS) — The St. Louis Cardinals clinched a playoff spot for the fourth straight season, but did so despite losing to the Cincinnati Reds 7-2 on Sunday.

St. Louis (87-69) reached the postseason thanks to Milwaukee’s 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh earlier.

Jay Bruce hit a pair of home runs, two of the four belted by the Reds (72-84), helping Cincinnati snap a six-game losing streak. Starting pitcher Alfredo Simon (15-10) gave up just two run over six innings for the win. Todd Frazier’s solo shot in the top of the sixth gave the Reds the lead for good, one that was ballooned by a Bruce RBI Single later that inning.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals must now fight for the National League Central division crown while battling a flu bug that is going throughout the clubhouse. Both Matt Adams and Matt Carpenter sat out for the second consecutive game due to flu-like symptoms.

“There are a lot of guys that are unavailable,” said St. Louis manager Mike Matheny. “Almost as many unavailable as available.”

Matheny also added that more than 10 players are sick, many of whom may be held back from the team flight to Chicago on Monday. The Cardinals will play the Cubs in a three-game series and currently hold a 2 1/2 game lead over the Pirates in the division.

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Kershaw Wins 20th Game, Dodgers Clinch Playoff Spot

Kershaw Wins 20th Game, Dodgers Clinch Playoff Spot

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Despite only throwing five innings, Clayton Kershaw picked up his league-leading 20th win of the season as Los Angeles defeated the Chicago Cubs (68-86) 14-5 on Friday. It was the shortest outing in nearly four months for Kershaw (20-3), who was aided by his offense.

“Obviously, you want to go eight or nine every time and be the reason why your team won,” Kershaw said. “But sometimes your team does it for you and you just have to be out there. So that was the way it happened today and I’ll take it.”

The Dodgers hit four home runs as a team, including two from catcher A.J. Ellis. In total, Los Angeles (88-66) racked up 13 hits against Edwin Jackson (6-15) who was making his first start since coming off the disabled list. 

Los Angeles also clinched a playoff spot with Pittsburgh’s 4-2 win over Milwaukee. It’s the second straight season the Dodgers will be in the playoffs as they hold a 3 1/2 game lead over San Francisco in the NL West.

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The Boston Red Sox Win The World Series

The Boston Red Sox Win The World Series

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(BOSTON) — The Boston Red Sox won the World Series Wednesday night with a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the Fall Classic.
It was a dramatic turnaround for a team that finished in last place in the…

David Ortiz Named World Series MVP

David Ortiz Named World Series MVP

G. Fiume/Getty Images(BOSTON) —  The Boston Red Sox capped off a postseason for the ages when they topped the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, but they may not have been as fortunate without Big Papi.
Designated hitter David Ortiz was nam…

Red Sox Win World Series

Red Sox Win World Series

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(BOSTON) — The Boston Red Sox won the World Series Wednesday night with a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the Fall Classic.
It was a dramatic turnaround for a team that finished in last place in the A…

Cardinals Arrive Late to Boston for Game 6

Cardinals Arrive Late to Boston for Game 6

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images(BOSTON) —  The St. Louis Cardinals were ready to fly to Boston on Tuesday, needing to win two-straight games against the Red Sox in order to capture the World Series Championship.  The only problem is their plane w…

Lester Leads Sox Past Cardinals: Boston One Win Away from Championship

Lester Leads Sox Past Cardinals: Boston One Win Away from Championship

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — Jon Lester pitched 7 2/3 innings allowing four hits, one run, no walks while striking out seven, as he outdueled Adam Wainwright to help the Boston Red Sox top the St. Louis Cardinals 3-1 in Game 5 of the World Se…

Gomes Lifts Sox Past Cardinals to Even World Series

Gomes Lifts Sox Past Cardinals to Even World Series

Brian D. Kersey/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — Jonny Gomes wasn’t even supposed to be in the lineup. The Boston Red Sox must be happy he was.
Gomes, who was told he was replacing Shane Victorino (back injury) in the lineup a couple hours before gametime, h…

St. Louis Takes Advantage of Boston’s Fielding Blunder to Win Game 2

St. Louis Takes Advantage of Boston’s Fielding Blunder to Win Game 2

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(BOSTON) — The Saint Louis Cardinals scored the go-ahead run on reliever Craig Breslow’s throw into the stands, part of a three-run seventh inning, as the Cardinals topped the Boston Red Sox 4-2 Thursday in Game 2 of the World …

Red Sox Topple Cardinals in Game 1 of World Series

Red Sox Topple Cardinals in Game 1 of World Series

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(BOSTON) — The Boston Red Sox scored five runs off St. Louis Cardinals starter Adam Wainwright in the first two innings and never looked back, as the Red Sox won Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday, 8-1.
The trouble start…

Cardinals Advance to World Series

Cardinals Advance to World Series

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(ST. LOUIS) — The St. Louis Cardinals are headed back to the World Series.  The Cardinals rocked Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night in Game 6 of the NLCS, 9-0, to advance to their 19th Fall Class…

Dodgers Slug Cardinals 6-4 to Force Game 6

Dodgers Slug Cardinals 6-4 to Force Game 6

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) —  The Los Angeles Dodgers received their power surge when they needed it most.
Facing elimination Wednesday, the team hit four home runs, including two by Adrian Gonzalez as they defeated the St. Louis Cardi…

Lackey Deals Red Sox Past Tigers to Give Sox 2-1 Series Lead

Lackey Deals Red Sox Past Tigers to Give Sox 2-1 Series Lead

Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images(DETROIT) — John Lackey pitches 6 2/3 innings, allowing four hits, no runs, no walks while striking out eight as he outpitches Justin Verlander and leads the Boston Red Sox  to a 1-0 victory over the Detroit T…

Holiday Lifts Cardinals Past Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS

Holiday Lifts Cardinals Past Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Matt Holliday, who was 0-for-13 in the series, had two hits including a two-run home run to help lift the St. Louis Cardinals past the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series Tue…

Dodgers Are on the Board: Ryu Leads LA to Game 3 Victory

Dodgers Are on the Board: Ryu Leads LA to Game 3 Victory

Scott Boehm Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke couldn’t do it, but Hyun-Jin Ryu did.
Ryu pitches seven innings, allowing no runs, three hits and one walk while striking out four, to lead the Dodgers to their first win of the …

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