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Royals Rally Against Astros To Tie Division Series At One

Jeremy Bernfeld
KCUR 89.3 file photo
Royals third-baseman Mike Moustakas swings at seventh-inning pitch.

After finding themselves in an early hole, the Royals rallied Friday night to take Game 2 of the American League Division Series and knot the best-of-five game series at one.

The win was a crucial victory for Kansas City, which risked traveling to Houston to face the Astros’ ace starting pitcher while staring at elimination. Now, it’s a race to two wins to move on to the American League Championship series.

First-baseman Eric Hosmer said the win would give the team some confidence.

“Championship teams win those types of games right there, so it’s a big win for us,” Hosmer said. “That was our goal – to even up the series heading in to Houston. It’s going to be a battle and we’re ready for it. “

The Royals’ Ben Zobrist provided the difference-maker for Kansas City. After shortstop Alcides Escobar tripled to open the seventh-inning, Zobrist singled him in as the go-ahead run.

But the rally really started in the sixth.

Down 4-2 in the sixth-inning, the Royals' missing offense suddenly found its groove. Outfielder Lorenzo Cain doubled. Eric Hosmer got a lucky bounce on a single and drove in a run. Designated hitter Kendrys Morales followed with a single. Mike Moustakas walked to load the bases. Finally, catcher Salvador Perez took a four-pitch-walk, which brought in the tying run.

While not at his best, Royals starting pitcher Johnny Cueto provided a serviceable six innings, giving up the four runs. The Kansas City bullpen trio of Kelvin Herrera, Ryan Madsen and Wade Davis slammed the door.

The teams will take a day off on Saturday. Game 3 is Sunday at 3:10 p.m. in Houston, and the Royals will be facing the Astros’ ace starting pitcher.

Astros starter Dallas Keuchel is one of the league’s best. He started the All-Star Game for the American League and he’s coming off a shutout against the Yankees in the Wild Card game.

Hosmer, though, didn’t sound fazed.

“We do well against aces,” Hosmer said. “We’re going to go in there and battle and try to get off to an early lead. The way the bullpen has been throwing for us, if we can just got off to an early lead as an offense then we’ll feel pretty good about it going in.”

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