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Royals score twice in ninth to win ALCS Game 2, 6-4

Alcides Escobar celebrates with teammate Billy Butler after

Alcides Escobar celebrates with teammate Billy Butler after scoring on Lorenzo Cain's RBI single to left field in the ninth inning against Zach Britton of the Baltimore Orioles during Game 2 of the American League Championship Series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Oct. 11, 2014 in Baltimore. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr

BALTIMORE - The Royals proved they can win in regulation this postseason, too.

And after scoring two runs in the ninth inning Saturday night and beating the Orioles, 6-4, in ALCS Game 2 before another shocked sellout crowd at Camden Yards, they're halfway to the World Series.

"When you go into a series like this, if you could go home 1-1, you're going to be really, really happy," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "If you can go home 2-0, that's as good as it gets."

After a day off Sunday, the best-of-seven series resumes Monday night in Kansas City, which will host an ALCS game for the first time since 1985 -- the last time the Royals reached the postseason.

"We're confident, you know, our team is very confident," said Lorenzo Cain, who had four hits and made two outstanding catches, one as the centerfielder and one as the rightfielder. "But at the end of the day, you've got to go out and do it on the field."

The Royals, now 6-0 this postseason -- with four of the games decided in extra innings, including Friday night's 8-6 Game 1 victory in 10 innings -- won a second straight back-and-forth contest in which momentum never found a consistent dance partner until the end.

The Royals took early 2-0 and 3-1 leads, only to see the Orioles catch them at 3-3. After the Royals went ahead 4-3, the Orioles caught them again at 4-4 in the fifth. And it stayed that way until the ninth.

Omar Infante led off the inning with an infield single against Darren O'Day, also the loser in Game 1, and was replaced by pinch runner Terrance Gore.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought on his closer, Zach Britton, to face Mike Moustakas, whose solo homer with two outs in the fourth snapped a 3-3 tie and gave him an MLB-best four homers this postseason. Royals manager Ned Yost called on Moustakas to bunt, and his sacrifice put Gore at second.

On Britton's first pitch to him, Alcides Escobar inside-outed a 97-mph fastball, lining it down the rightfield line for a double that put the Royals ahead 5-4. Cain's RBI single made it 6-4.

Greg Holland allowed a two-out single by Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the ninth but struck out Steve Pearce (0-for-9 in the two games) for his second save of the series.

"You look at the losses, they're losses, but we've played some good baseball," Britton said. "I think we're in a good spot. It's just a matter of getting momentum on our side."

Baltimore went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10. The Royals went 4-for-12 with RISP and stranded eight.

The Orioles' roughest inning in that regard was the seventh. Nick Markakis reached base with none out when reliever Kelvin Herrera somehow missed the bag after catching first baseman Eric Hosmer's flip. After Herrera walked Alejandro De Aza, he struck out Adam Jones -- whose two-run homer in the third had tied it at 3-3 -- and allowed a broken-bat single to left by Cruz to load the bases. But Pearce popped to short left and Cain made a fine running catch in right of J.J. Hardy's flare.

"You can see this time of year what a sharp, razor-thin line there is between the two," Showalter said of winning and losing.

Orioles starter Bud Norris wasn't especially sharp, allowing four runs and nine hits in 41/3 innings. Royals rookie righthander Yordano Ventura allowed four runs and five hits in 52/3 innings before leaving the game with right shoulder tightness.

"I don't anticipate him missing his next start," Yost said. "We'll see how it goes day-to-day, but I think it will be all fine."

At this point, that's an apt description of his Royals, too.


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