2014 Kansas City Royals season
|2014 Kansas City Royals|
American League</span> Champions|
American League Wild Card
2014 AL Records
Source: AL Standings Head-to-Head
(updated through September 28)
Legend Royals Win Royals Loss Game Postponed
|2014 Kansas City Royals Game Log|
|2014 Kansas City Royals|
Wild Card Game, September 30
The one-game playoff was touted as a duel between the Royals' James Shields and the Athletics' Jon Lester, but neither starting pitcher would earn a decision in the game. Oakland's Brandon Moss homered early off of Shields with Coco Crisp on base, giving the Athletics a 2–0 advantage; Kansas City halved the lead in the bottom of the first when Billy Butler singled to score Nori Aoki. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer had RBI hits for the Royals in the third inning, vaulting Kansas City to a 3–2 lead. The fourth and fifth innings were scoreless, and Oakland proceeded to stitch together five runs in the top of the sixth as Moss homered a second time, scoring himself, Sam Fuld, and Josh Donaldson. Derek Norris and Crisp singled in two additional runs.
Both Oakland and Kansas City batted fruitlessly in the seventh inning, and Royals relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera recorded three straight outs in the top of the eighth. In the bottom of the eighth, with Kansas City six outs away from having their season ended, the Royals manufactured a productive inning of their own. Alcides Escobar singled, and then stole second base with Nori Aoki at the plate. Lorenzo Cain singled, scoring Escobar. Cain stole second base himself with Eric Hosmer batting; Hosmer was then walked, at which point starting pitcher Jon Lester was relieved by Luke Gregerson. Nerves seemed to get the better of Gregerson, who allowed Billy Butler to single and score Cain, and then allowed Hosmer to score from third base on a wild pitch. Gregerson struck out the next two batters to preserve the Athletics' lead, but the Royals had crept to within one run.
Closer Greg Holland took the mound for Kansas City and was somewhat shaky, walking three batters, but mustered the three required outs without major damage, and Kansas City took their one-run deficit to the bottom of the ninth.
Oakland's closer, Sean Doolittle, pitched in relief of Gregerson. Pinch-hitter Josh Willingham singled and was replaced by pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson. Dyson moved to second base on a successful bunt from Alcides Escobar, and then stole third with Aoki at bat. Aoki hit a deep sacrifice fly to right field for the second out of the inning, but Dyson was able to jog home, tying the game at 7–7 and completing the Royals' four-run comeback. Cain lined out to end the inning for Kansas City.
Brandon Finnegan began a strong inning of work in the tenth, replacing Greg Holland and recording three outs in quick succession. The Royals advanced Eric Hosmer to third base with two outs in the bottom of the tenth, but Salvador Pérez grounded out, putting a Royals victory on hold.
Finnegan again pitched well in the top of the eleventh, allowing only one hit and striking out Brandon Moss, who had already hit two home runs. Kansas City's offense produced in the bottom of the eleventh a situation identical to that of the tenth; the winning run stood 90 feet away with two outs, but Jayson Nix struck out to end the inning. Finnegan began the twelfth inning by walking Josh Reddick, who advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jed Lowrie. Finnegan was then relieved by Jason Frasor. Pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo of Oakland took a wild pitch from Frasor, allowing Reddick to go to third base. Callaspo then hit a line drive to left field, scoring Reddick. The new pitcher Frasor quickly stopped the bleeding by retiring Derek Norris and Nick Punto, but the Athletics had retaken the lead, 8–7.
Lorenzo Cain failed to start the bottom of the twelfth in a promising fashion, grounding out. The Oakland Athletics were two outs away from advancing to the ALDS. However, Hosmer nursed a lengthy at-bat into a deep left field hit that was poorly fielded, allowing him to reach third base. Christian Colon then singled to tie the game again, scoring Hosmer. Oakland pitcher Dan Otero was replaced by Fernando Abad, who threw to only one batter, Alex Gordon, who popped out. Abad was then relieved by Jason Hammel. Christian Colon, still on first base, stole second with Pérez at the plate. Pérez then singled to left field, scoring Colon and ending the marathon game with a Royals victory and a ticket to the ALDS against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Game 1, October 2
Mike Moustakas' solo home run in the top of the eleventh inning off of Angels pitcher Fernando Salas proved to be the difference for Kansas City, as the Royals surprised the favored Angels by winning a low-scoring Game 1. Moustakas also scored one of the Royals' other two runs, running home from first base on a double by Alcides Escobar in the third inning, giving Kansas City a 1–0. The Angels battled back quickly, though, as catcher Chris Iannetta homered with the bases empty off Jason Vargas for a 1–1 tie. The two teams traded runs again in the fifth—Alex Gordon scoring from second on an Omar Infante sac fly for the Royals, David Freese hitting a solo line drive home run for the Angels—before engaging in a scoreless battle for five innings until Moustakas' game-winner. Royals starter Vargas was replaced after six innings by a battery of relievers that included Kelvin Herrera, Brandon Finnegan, Wade Davis, Tim Collins, Jason Frasor, Danny Duffy, and Greg Holland. Herrera, however, left Game 1 with tightness in his right forearm, and the exit of the effective relief pitcher put a slight damper on the Royals' opening victory.
Game 2, October 3
The eleventh inning was again a magical time for the Royals, as Eric Hosmer's two-run home run to right field broke a 1–1 tie and vaulted Kansas City over the Angels. Lorenzo Cain scored from first base on Hosmer's blast. The Royals added a third run when Alex Gordon walked, stole second and advanced to third on an Angels fielding error with Salvador Perez at the plate, and then scored on a single by Perez. The Royals led 4–1 heading into the bottom of the eleventh inning, and closer Greg Holland retired three out of four batters faced to rack up his second postseason save and to send the Royals home to Kansas City with an opportunity to sweep the Angels in Game 3.
The Royals' one run prior to the eleventh came in the second inning, as Hosmer scored from second base on a Gordon single.
The Angels' lone run of the game came during the sixth inning. Kole Calhoun singled, Mike Trout walked, advancing Calhoun to second, and Calhoun scored from second courtesy of an Albert Pujols single.
The Angels very nearly broke the 1–1 tie and took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, but astute defensive play by the Royals kept the stalemate intact. Jarrod Dyson came into center field as the result of a defensive substitution. With Wade Davis on the mound, C. J. Cron doubled and was replaced by pinch-runner Collin Cowgill. Angels catcher Chris Iannetta hit the ball deep to center field, but Dyson made a difficult catch and then launched a laserlike throw to the third baseman Hosmer, who tagged out Cowgill, attempting to tag up from second, to complete a double play.
The Royals received a scare in the fifth inning when Los Angeles' Josh Hamilton hit catcher Salvador Perez on the head with his bat on the follow-through of a swing. Perez underwent a brief concussion test while still on the field and remained in the game.
The Royals' victory also made them the first team in the history of Major League Baseball to win three straight extra inning games in the postseason.
Game 3, October 5
Royals starter James Shields gave up a home run to slugger Mike Trout to give the Angels an early 1–0 lead. However, back to back singles by Aoki and Cain and a walk to Billy Butler loaded the bases with one out. Alex Gordon came up and smacked the ball for a bases clearing double to put the Royals up 3–1. Angels starter C. J. Wilson didn't last more than two-thirds of one inning and was replaced by Vinnie Pestano after Gordon's hit.
Kansas City's offense struck again in the third inning as Eric Hosmer homered to center field with Nori Aoki on base, giving the Royals a capacious 5–1 lead. The Angels inched closer in the top of the fourth inning with a solo home run by Albert Pujols, but still trailed 5–2. In the bottom half of the inning, Mike Moustakas crushed a long ball of his own, such that Moustakas and Hosmer, who hit game-winning home runs in the top of the eleventh inning in Games 1 and 2, respectively, both homered again in Game 3. Alcides Escobar singled, found second base on a wild pitch from the Angels' Morin, took third on a single by Aoki, and scored on a Lorenzo Cain sacrifice fly, capping a 2-run fourth for Kansas City and putting the floundering Angels in a 7–2 hole.
The Royals' final run of the game was delivered in the sixth inning. Omar Infante walked, went to second base on an Escobar single, and scored from second on an Aoki single. Trailing 8–2, the Angels scrounged together one more run with Wade Davis pitching (Howie Kendrick doubled, to third on an Erick Aybar single, scoring on a Josh Hamilton ground out), but closer Greg Holland's effort was superb, racking three straight outs, two on strikeouts. The Royals advanced to the ALCS, and the Angels' highly anticipated season ended, with star center fielder Mike Trout striking out swinging.
The Baltimore Orioles had defeated the Detroit Tigers earlier in the day, securing their ticket to the ALCS. With the Royals having last reached the World Series in 1985 and the Orioles having last reached the World Series in 1983, the 2014 World Series is guaranteed to have a participant that has been absent from it for at least the last twenty-nine years.
American League Championship Series
Game 1, October 10
For the fourth time in five games, the Royals broke an extra-innings tie, and for the third time in four games did so via longballs. Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas both crushed respective solo and two-run home runs to combine for a three-run top of the tenth for Kansas City. The twin home runs came off of Orioles pitchers Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day. Salvador Perez was on first base during Moustakas' home run, which proved to be the difference as the Orioles did manage to score one run in the bottom of the tenth before closer Greg Holland composed himself to record the final out. The Royals' offensive explosion in the tenth saved them from a potentially devastating situation in the ninth inning, when they failed to score a run despite having the bases loaded with no outs.
Kansas City had been aided previously in the game by an Alcides Escobar solo home run and an Alex Gordon 3-RBI double, both in the third inning. They added a run in the fifth when Billy Butler hit a sacrifice fly to score Lorenzo Cain, who had doubled. The Royals' bats then remained quiet until their game-winning performance in the tenth.
Baltimore struck for one run in the third inning (Nick Markakis scoring from third on an Adam Jones line drive) and for three runs in the fifth inning (Alejandro de Aza scored from second on a Nelson Cruz double, Cruz and Jones scored from second and third on a Ryan Flaherty line drive). The Orioles tied the score at 5–5 in the bottom of the sixth inning, as reliever Brandon Finnegan suffered some shakiness, walking Jonathan Schoop and surrendering a Nick Markakis line drive. Both stole bases with De Aza at the plate to advance to second and third base, and Schoop came home on a sacrifice fly by De Aza.
No scoring occurred in the seventh, eighth, or ninth innings. Wade Davis earned the win for the Royals, striking out the side in the bottom of the ninth, paving the way for Kansas City's three-run tenth.
Game 2, October 11
The Royals won only their second nine-inning game of the postseason, but still had to resort to late-game heroics to do so. With the score tied in the top of the ninth and with Darren O'Day pitching for the Orioles, Kansas City's Omar Infante hit a single toward third base. Infante was replaced by pinch runner Terrance Gore, and O'Day was relieved by Zach Britton. Mike Moustakas, with three home runs in the postseason, played small ball instead of long ball, laying down a sacrifice bunt to advance Gore to second. Alcides Escobar then doubled to right field to score Gore and give the Royals a 5–4 lead. Kansas City added insurance when Escobar reached third on a fielding error and then strolled home on a single by Dyson. Britton recovered to strike out both Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler, but the Royals' damage had yet again been done, and closer Greg Holland was effective for the second straight game in quelling an Orioles rally attempt.
The Royals had struck first at Camden Yards on this Saturday afternoon, with Hosmer driving in Nori Aoki and Lorenzo Cain in the top of the first inning. The O's halved the lead in the bottom of the second, milking one run out of a succession of walks and a sacrifice fly from starter Yordano Ventura, although Ventura composed himself sufficiently to ward off further Baltimore offense. Kansas City added a third run in the top of the third inning, as Cain singled, advanced to third base on a Hosmer line drive, and scored on a Butler double.
With the score tied 3–3, each team scored one more run before a 4–4 stalemate that held until Kansas City's two-run ninth. In the top of the fourth inning, Mike Moustakas crushed his fourth home run of the playoffs off of Oriole starter Bud Norris. Baltimore pulled even again in the bottom of the fifth inning, as De Aza singled, advanced to third base on a Jones single, and made it to home plate during a force out at second base.
Neither starter lasted beyond the sixth inning, Ventura being pulled after 5.2 innings and Norris after only 4.1. Both recorded three strikeouts. The winning and losing pitchers, Wade Davis for Kansas City and Darren O'Day for Baltimore, were the same as in Game 1.
Game 3, October 14
Kansas City's Jeremy Guthrie pitched five solid innings and the Royals' bullpen was lights out during a 2–1 Game 3 victory that was less eventful and lower scoring than any of the Royals' previous postseason games. The Orioles struck first in the second inning, when Steve Pearce doubled and was then batted in by J. J. Hardy, but that was all the offense Baltimore would demonstrate. The Royals tied the score in the bottom of the fourth, as Lorenzo Cain scored from third base on an Alex Gordon ground ball. Kansas City then took the lead in the sixth, as Jarrod Dyson, pinch running for Nori Aoki, who had singled, moved from first to third base on a hit by Eric Hosmer, and then came to home plate on a sacrifice fly from Billy Butler. Royals closer Greg Holland was again effective in silencing any Orioles comeback attempts, retiring three straight batters in the top of the ninth to bring Kansas City within one win of the Fall Classic.
This third game of the series had been originally slated for Monday, but was postponed to Tuesday due to inclement weather. Game 4, which had been slated for Tuesday, was subsequently moved to Wednesday.
Game 4, October 15
The Royals would need only two first-inning runs and solid pitching from Jason Vargas to propel themselves into the World Series with an 8–0 postseason record and complete the sweep of Baltimore. Kansas City's lone offensive rally began with Alcides Escobar reaching first base and Nori Aoki being hit by a pitch to move Escobar to second. Following a ground ball by Eric Hosmer, a missed catch error by the Orioles' Caleb Joseph enabled both Escobar and Aoki to score and Hosmer to reach second base. The Orioles' lone run came via a Ryan Flaherty solo home run. Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis again proved unhittable in relief, and closer Greg Holland recorded his fourth straight save.
Game 1, October 21
San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner was brilliant through seven innings of work, surrendering only one RBI—a Salvador Perez home run—and getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, and Hunter Pence delivered three RBIs, including a two-run home run, as the Giants handed the Royals their first postseason loss since Game 4 of the 1985 World Series. Kansas City's previously potent bats fell flat against Bumgarner. Trailing 4–0, they threatened briefly in the third inning when Lorenzo Cain came back from an 0–2 count to walk and load the bases with two outs, Omar Infante and Mike Moustakas having reached base previously. But Eric Hosmer grounded out with the bases loaded to preserve Bumgarner's shutout, broken up by only Perez's solo long ball.
Game 2, October 22
The Royals and Giants battled to a 2–2 stalemate through five innings, until Kansas City's offense ignited–and San Francisco's pitching melted–in the sixth. The Giants used five pitchers in one inning as Lorenzo Cain scored from second base on a hit by Billy Butler, Salvador Perez hit a 2RBI double scoring Eric Hosmer and Terrance Gore, and Omar Infante blasted a home run to left field, scoring himself and Perez. The Giants went limp offensively after the Royals' five run inning, and never closed the 7–2 gap. Kansas City's Kelvin Herrera–Wade Davis–Greg Holland relief lineup again kept the lead intact.
The Royals' victory evens the World Series at one game apiece and thus forces a Game 5 on Sunday, October 26.
Game 3, October 24
The Royals took a 2–1 series lead in the first tilt of the Fall Classic that was a closely contested pitchers' duel instead of a lopsided hitting spree, as Games 1 and 2 had been. Kansas City hung one run on the Giants in the top of the first inning (Alcides Escobar doubling, and then advancing to third and scoring on two ground outs). However, the majority of offense came in the sixth. Still holding onto a 1–0 cushion, the Royals began a two-run inning as Escobar singled. Alex Gordon doubled, scoring Escobar. Following a Lorenzo Cain ground out, San Francisco starter Tim Hudson, who had pitched 5 2/3 innings, was relieved by Javier López, but López could not completely shut down the Royals' offense, allowing Eric Hosmer to single to center field, scoring Gordon, before he struck out Mike Moustakas to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Giants gave Kansas City some pitching hiccups of their own. Brandon Crawford scored from first base on a Michael Morse double. Kelvin Herrera was then summoned to replace starter Jeremy Guthrie. Again, as with López in the top of the inning, the presence of the new pitcher Herrera did not immediately stop the bleeding for Kansas City, as Morse advanced to third base and then scored on respective Joe Panik and Buster Posey ground outs. Herrera kept San Francisco to a two run inning as heavy hitting Pablo Sandoval grounded out.
The Royals' bullpen, this time adding Brandon Finnegan to the usual late-inning Herrera–Wade Davis–Greg Holland lineup, kept the Giants at bay for the remaining three innings. Kansas City never recorded an insurance run to pad their 3–2 lead, but the closer Holland racked up three straight outs to secure a Royals victory without further rebut.
Game 4, October 25
The World Series was forced to at least a sixth game back in Kansas City following a definitive and conclusive victory by the Giants in which they attacked the Royals' bullpen in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, especially rookie Brandon Finnegan, who surrendered five earned runs. Hunter Pence, Pablo Sandoval, and Joe Panik all had multi-RBI games for San Francisco. Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Omar Infante, and Salvador Pérez had combined for a four-run fourth inning for the Royals, who held a 4–2 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth, when the Giants tied the game with Pence and Juan Pérez RBIs, one with Jason Frasor pitching, the other with Danny Duffy on the mound. Finnegan then replaced Duffy prior to San Francisco's three-run sixth, which included a 2-RBI line drive from Sandoval and a Brandon Belt RBI single. The Giants added further insult to injury with a four-run seventh.
The Royals never scored in the game outside of their four-run third inning, and this time it was the Giants who used an effective lineup of seventh, eighth, and ninth-inning relievers to quell any further Kansas City threat.
Game 5, October 26
Madison Bumgarner was the only pitcher the Giants required to take a 3–2 lead in the World Series over the Royals, again puzzling Kansas City hitters as he had in Game 1. Kansas City starter James Shields was more effective than four games earlier, only surrendering two runs across seven innings of work, but the Giants added three runs insurance off Royals relievers Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis. San Francisco's five runs were delivered by only two batters: Juan Pérez, who batted in two, and Brandon Crawford, who drove in three.
This was the fourth postseason shutout suffered by the Royals in franchise history, following Game 1 of the 1981 American League Division Series, Game 4 of the 1984 American League Championship Series, and Game 4 of the 1985 World Series.
Game 6, October 28
Lorenzo Cain drove in three runs, and Mike Moustakas batted in two as the Royals forced a decisive seventh game in domineering fashion, saddling Giants starter Jake Peavy for five earned runs as part of a seven-run second inning. Peavy's struggles came on the heels of a 7–2 Royals victory in Game 2 for which he was also charged with the loss. Contrarily, Kansas City's Yordano Ventura pitched seven innings and only surrendered three hits. Ventura honored St. Louis Cardinals outfielder and fellow Dominican Republic countryman Oscar Taveras, who had died two days earlier in a car crash, with the message "R.I.P. O.T. #18" scrawled onto his cap. When Kansas City turned to its bullpen, it appeared to save Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland for Game 7, using Jason Frasor and Tim Collins instead.
Game 7, October 29
The Royals were 90 feet away from tying the decisive seventh game when left fielder Alex Gordon hit a two error triple at three runs apiece when Salvador Perez popped a ball up into foul territory, easily fielded by Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval to give San Francisco their third World Series victory in five seasons and to crush Kansas City's Cinderella run through the postseason. Madison Bumgarner worked on short rest for San Francisco; although he did not start the game, he came into relieve Jeremy Affeldt (who had himself relieved starter Tim Hudson) in the fifth inning and pitched five innings in a masterful performance that prevented the Royals' offense from igniting. Bumgarner was awarded a save; the win went to Affeldt. No scoring occurred after the fourth inning, when Pablo Sandoval came to home plate from second base on a hit by Michael Morse. This would prove to be the World Series-winning run for the Giants. Prior to the fourth inning, both teams scored two runs each in the second inning. Alex Gordon and Omar Infante batted in the Royals' only runs.
Postseason game log
|2014 Kansas City Royals Postseason Game Log|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Omaha
- Kansas City Royals: Official web site
- Andy McCullogh (October 20, 2014). "As focus faded and losses picked up in late July, Royals changed their game". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 27, 2014.
- Rustin Dodd (October 3, 2014). "Royals catcher Salvador Perez survives head injury in Game 2". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- Reuters (October 28, 2014). "Kansas City Royals' Yordano Ventura pays homage to Dominican friend Oscar Taveras". The Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 28, 2014.
- "San Francisco Giants beat Kansas City Royals: 2014 World Series result". Guardian. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- "Madison Bumgarner, Giants hold off Royals to win World Series". ESPN. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2014.
- Leventhal, Josh, ed. (2014). Baseball America 2015 Almanac. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America. ISBN 978-1-932391-54-1.
- 2014 Kansas City Royals Official Site
- 2014 Kansas City Royals season at ESPN
- 2014 Kansas City Royals at Baseball Reference