Lorenzo Cain had four hits and made several highlight-reel catches, leading the Kansas City Royals to a 6-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday afternoon at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Kansas City leads the best-of-seven series, 2-0.
In a 4-4 tie, Omar Infante began the ninth inning with a dribbler to third base for an infield hit against Darren O`Day. After pinch runner Terrance Gore was sacrificed to second base, Alcides Escobar shot a double down the first-base line into right field, scoring Gore easily for the go-ahead run.
Two batters later, Cain followed with an RBI single to left field, his fourth hit of the day. Cain joins George Brett as the only Royals with four hits in a postseason game. Brett did so twice, in Game 3 of the 1985 ALCS and in Game 7 of the 1985 World Series.
Cain also scored twice and made a few remarkable catches in both center and right field. He is is 6-for-8 (.750) with four runs scored in the ALCS so far.
Royals starter Yordano Ventura allowed four runs in 5⅔ innings, but left with two outs in the sixth. The team announced that the reason for his exit was right shoulder tightness.
The Kansas City bullpen provided relief for Ventura with 3⅓ scoreless innings, including a scoreless eighth by Wade Davis for his second win in as many nights. In fact, the decisions for Game 2 were identical to Game 1: the win to Davis, the loss to O'Day and a save by Royals closer Greg Holland, who put away Baltimore with a scoreless ninth to end the contest.
Royals vs. Orioles
Is Mike Moustakas breaking out?
The Royals will take all the quality Moose they can get in October and worry about 2015 later.
Royals vs. Orioles
Jones ditches the goose egg
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones entered Saturday just 3-for-16 (.188) during the postseason with one walk and four strikeouts, then struck out in his first at-bat on Saturday. Dating back to his postseason performance in 2012, Jones was 5-for-43 (.116) in the playoffs, with 12 strikeouts, one walk, no home runs and two RBI.
"I just think that what I do in the regular season, I think I need to cut back a little bit more in the postseason, the aggression in the regular season," Jones said after Game 1, per Rich Dubroff of CSN Baltimore. "I think it intensifies when the postseason comes on, the strike zone is smaller. Every pitch is that more of importance. And you've got to lock in better. It's the same game, it's just the focus has to be stronger."
Jones was certainly locked in against Ventura in the third inning, lining a two-run shot into the seats to tie the game at 3-3 and give him his first career postseason home run. He finished his day 2-for-5.
Moose is loose
Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas by all accounts had a terrible regular season, hitting just .212/.271/.361 with 15 home runs in 140 games. He was even optioned to Triple-A Omaha for the final 10 days of May.
But the 2007 No. 2 overall pick has been on fire in the postseason, hitting .318 (7-for-22) including two more hits on Saturday in Game 2. His fourth-inning home run gave the Royals the lead, and was his fourth home run of the postseason, matching Willie Aikens in 1980 for the franchise record.
KC strikes early
The Royals are undefeated this postseason, and even though four of their six games have been extra-inning affairs, Kansas City has made a habit of getting on the board first. In Game 2 the Royals rallied against Norris in the first with three straight hits, punctuated by a two-run single from Hosmer and a quick 2-0 lead.
Kansas City has scored first in all four road games so far this season, and hasn't yet trailed at the end of any inning on the road. Even in their two home games, when the visitors -- the Athletics in the Wild Card Game and the Angels in Game 3 of the ALDS -- scored in the top of the first, the Royals answered right back by scoring in the bottom of the frame.
So far this postseason, teams are 14-4 when scoring first
Joseph snaps slump
Caleb Joseph, the 28-year-old rookie catcher, in August became the first Orioles catcher and the first Orioles rookie ever with a home run in five straight games. But September wasn't as kind to Joseph, who ended his regular season in an 0-for-30 skid.
That slump ran to 0-for-33 with 15 strikeouts during the playoffs, but on Sunday Joseph was 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly.
The Royals and Orioles will take Sunday off before resuming the ALCS on Monday night with Game 3 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.