MLB: Salvador Perez Walk-Off in 12th Sends KC to ALDS
Speed, extra innings, and a walk-off hit by Salvador Perez led to a 9-8 Royals victory, launching them into the ALDS. After nearly three decades without a playoff berth, the Royals’ first chance at the playoffs in 29 years began with an event-filled 12 innings.
After stranding runners on third in the tenth and eleventh, Eric Hosmer tripled in the twelfth to set up a similar scenario to the innings prior. Only this time, Christian Colon hit a chopper to third, and Hosmer reached the plate before a play could be made. With an 8-8 tie, Colon stole second to give his team a runner in scoring position, and Perez singled on a ball hit to left field to score the winning run.
Blowing the 7-3 lead was the Athletics, but they were the team that started off with the upper hand. Silencing an excited Kansas City crowd with two home runs was designated hitter Brandon Moss.
Moss got the Athletics rolling early in the game, sending a two-run homer to right field, securing both the lead and first home run to be recorded in the 2014 postseason. The Royals cut its deficit in half during the bottom of the first with a Billy Butler single to left, and pulled ahead by one run in the third with a double and single off of Jon Lester.
Kansas City’s lead lasted until the sixth, until Moss came back to haunt them with another home run. This time, against Yordana Ventura, he crushed it to center field to bring in three runs.
Fortunately for the Royals, the eighth and ninth innings would see offensive success by Kansas City. Small ball played a big part in the comeback, and sent the game into extra innings after Nori Aoki scored Josh Reddick on a sacrifice fly to the right fielder.
The game didn’t see a single player cross the plate in the tenth and eleventh, although the Royals managed to rally throughout the two innings to advance runners in scoring position. Twice, there were runners on third. Twice, they would remain stranded by the end of the inning.
The A’s gained momentum in the top of the twelfth, taking the lead on an Alberto Callaspo single, but couldn’t hold it. Fortunately for Kansas City, the 90-foot difference wouldn’t continue to be unsurpassable, and they walked away with a one-run advantage to complete the first win of the postseason.
Wednesday, the Giants take on the Pirates in Pittsburgh to decide who takes the National League Wild Card. Beginning the ALDS on Thursday is the Tigers versus Orioles game, and Kansas City heads out to Los Angeles to play the Angels.
-A’s Coco Crisp left the game with a right hamstring injury.
-Brandon Moss is the first player in Athletics history with 2 home runs and 5 RBI in a playoff game.