Undefeated Royals sweep Orioles to reach World Series

Wed Oct 15, 2014 8:59pm EDT
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KANSAS CITY Missouri (Reuters) - The Kansas City Royals are World Series-bound for the first time since their championship season in 1985 after becoming the first MLB team to open a postseason with an 8-0 record on Wednesday.

The Royals extended their perfect postseason run with a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles in Game Four of the best-of-seven American League Championship Series.

"It's been an amazing run," left fielder Alex Gordon said on the field moments after closer Greg Holland got J.J. Hardy to ground out to third base for the final out.

"Today (was the) same old story, good pitching, good defense and scratch out a win. Good teams find ways to win and that’s what we did."

Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was named the Most Valuable Player of the ALCS after batting .533 and playing some stunning defense.

Kansas City will next play the winner of the National League Championship Series between the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals.

Two first-inning runs was all Kansas City needed as starting pitcher Jason Vargas struck out six Orioles batters and allowed one run on two hits in 5-1/3 innings before handing it over to the Royals' vaunted bullpen.

"We know once we have the lead we've got the best pitching staff and best bullpen around," said Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, quickly reminding everyone that the season was not over. "We’re not done yet."

Before the 2014 Major League Baseball season, Kansas City had not returned to the playoffs since winning the World Series 29 years ago, the longest streak without appearing in the postseason in the four major North American sports.   Continued...

Oct 15, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson (1) and designated hitter Billy Butler (left) hold up the American League championship trophy after game four of the 2014 ALCS playoff baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals swept the Orioles to advance to the World Series. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports