HOUSTON -- Almost out of time and out of the playoffs, the Kansas City Royals realized they needed more than a big home run.
They needed a lot of hits -- and maybe a little help, too.
The defending AL champions saved their season yesterday. They took advantage when Astros shortstop Carlos Correa couldn't handle a deflected grounder that might have been a double-play ball, rallying for five runs in the eighth inning to beat Houston, 9-6, forcing their playoff series to a deciding Game 5.
"We always feel that we're still in games, and we still have a chance," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "That's the mentality for this whole entire team."
Correa homered twice, doubled, singled and drove in four runs in Game 4 of the AL Division Series. Houston took a 6-2 lead into the eighth, but a tough error charged to the 21-year-old rookie keyed the Royals' comeback to even the matchup at two games apiece.
"I missed it. That's what happened," Correa said. "I wish I was perfect. I wish I could do everything perfect, but I'm not. I'm human."
Game 5 will be back in Kansas City tomorrow night. Johnny Cueto will start for the Royals against Collin McHugh.
"Everyone that watched that game, everybody that was a part of that game knows how difficult it is to feel like that game was closing in our favor and then have it not go our way," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
"But it's a big-boy sport. We'll adjust, and we will be ready to play," he said.