Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Royals Rally Past Astros to Take Game 2 of ALDS

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Royals Rally Past Astros to Take Game 2 of ALDS

Article excerpt

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The last time the Kansas City Royals faced an 0-2 deficit in the postseason was 30 years ago in the World Series.

For a while on Friday at Kauffman Stadium, it looked like these Royals would be in a similar situation -- down 0-2 to the Houston Astros in the best-of-five American League Division Series and the season seemingly in peril with Dallas Keuchel waiting in Game 3 on Sunday in Houston.

But the resilient Royals rallied from a three-run deficit and evened the series with a 5-4 victory to send the team to Houston with new life. Ben Zobrist's single to left in the seventh inning scored Alcides Escobar for the winning run.

"To come back with Esky's big triple, the opposite way, and then Ben Zobrist driving the ball the opposite way for the game winner was key," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The offense took advantage of opportunities when we had them and found a way to win a baseball game."

The Royals trailed 4-1 early but clawed back with a run in the third, two more in the sixth and one in the seventh. Escobar started the inning with a leadoff triple to right against Houston reliever Will Harris (0-1), and Zobrist followed with a single on the next pitch. Zobrist pumped his fist as Escobar ran toward home to the sound of 40,008 screaming fans, whose voices might have been rendered moot if not for the sixth inning.

Trailing 4-2 and the thought of Keuchel -- who is 15-0 with a 1.48 ERA at home this season -- looming large, the Royals evened the score on three hits and two walks, one of them a bases-loaded pass to Salvador Perez.

The Royals catcher, who is not known for his plate discipline, didn't even swing the bat against Houston's Josh Fields. He held off a first-pitch slider away and then took a ball inside. The third delivery was low and the fourth nearly hit him, allowing Eric Hosmer to walk home from third.

"That's smart on Salvy's part," Hosmer said. "You got a guy coming in from the bullpen who hadn't thrown a strike all day, so Salvy was just waiting him out. In that situation, you don't want to bail him out or hit a groundball-double play and Salvy was just being smart letting the game dictate the play. …

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