For the second game in a row and fifth time in the 2014 playoffs, the Kansas City Royals scored the go-ahead run in the final inning to win.

The Royals grabbed a commanding 2-0 series lead over the Baltimore Orioles following a 6-4 victory on Saturday evening in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.

Kansas City won the game in typical Royals fashion.

With the game tied at 4-4 in the top of the ninth, Omar Infante reached first on an infield single. Royals manager Ned Yost inserted Terrance Gore to pinch run for Infante. Mike Moustakas moved Gore into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.

Alcides Escobar delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit as he doubled down the right-field line to score Gore and put the Royals on top, 5-4.

According to ESPN Stats & Info’s Mark Simon, the Orioles were also victimized by Escobar’s last go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later:

For Baltimore closer Zach Britton, it was yet another rough ninth inning, per Mark Viviano of WJZ-TV in Baltimore:

Two batters later, Lorenzo Cain singled and scored Escobar to provide an insurance run.

One of the questions that surrounded Kansas City before Game 2 was how much Yost could continue relying on his devastating trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland out of the bullpen. All three pitched in Game 1, with Herrera and Davis both going two innings apiece.

“Our whole focus is win today,” Yost said on Saturday, per USA Today‘s Steve Gardner. “That was part of the mindset last night when we sent (Kelvin) Herrera back out for another inning and Wade Davis out for another inning. Let’s win this game and we’re not going to worry about tomorrow until tomorrow.”

Herrera, Davis and Holland all pitched on Saturday, combining for three scoreless innings to close out the game. They’ll have a day off to rest, which is much needed given their pitch count thus far in the series.

With the Royals continuing to keep it close, Yost’s handling of the bullpen could decide the outcome of the ALCS.

His job becomes easier when his batters deliver timely hit after timely hit, of course.

The Royals offense didn’t waste any time getting started. Nori Aoki hit a single to left with one out in the top of the first. Cain stepped up next and swatted a double to right field; Aoki moved to third on the play.

Eric Hosmer, who entered the day hitting .421 during the postseason, delivered a two-run single that fell in between Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy and left fielder Alejandro De Aza:

Baltimore struck back in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with two outs. Royals starter Yordano Ventura didn’t walk away completely unscathed, giving up a Caleb Joseph sacrifice fly that scored Steve Pearce. However, the inning ended with the Royals still holding a 2-1 lead.

Kansas City’s lead grew to two runs again, 3-1, a half-inning later, with Billy Butler slicing a double down the right-field line that scored Cain and moved Hosmer to third. Orioles starter Bud Norris struck out Alex Gordon before the Royals could put any more runs on the board.

All-Star center fielder Adam Jones’ playoff performance since 2013 has been a cause for concern. He was one of Baltimore’s best hitters during the regular season but had a .119 postseason batting average entering Saturday.

In the bottom of the third, Jones broke out of his funk, hitting a two-run home run to tie the game.

According to’s Anthony Castrovince, that was Jones’ first extra-base hit in the playoffs:

The long ball came back to bite the Orioles in the top of the fourth, as Moustakas put the Royals back on top, 4-3, with a solo home run. The homer was Moustakas’ fourth of the playoffs, which puts him in impressive company, per ESPN Stats & Info:

The Royals third baseman is also the first No. 9 hitter to go yard in four separate contests, per’s Paul Casella:

Kansas City hitters have mashed the ball all postseason, going from worst in the league in home runs during the regular season to best in the playoffs, per Jon Morosi of Fox Sports:

The Royals’ edge was short-lived. After back-to-back singles from De Aza and Jones in the bottom of the fifth, the Orioles had runners on the corners with one out. A ground ball to short from Nelson Cruz was enough to score De Aza as Kansas City settled for a fielder’s choice that tied the game at 4-4.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Orioles looked primed to take control of the game. It started with an error by Herrera. On a ground ball to first, Hosmer moved over and tossed the ball to Herrera, who failed to touch the base. As a result, Nick Markakis reached safely.

Lana Berry captured the irrefutable evidence showing space between Herrera’s foot and first base:

Herrera then delivered a walk to De Aza to put runners on first and second with nobody out. After a Jones strikeout, Cruz singled to load the bases with one out. Pearce flied out to Gordon in left field, and it looked like Markakis might attempt to tag up, but he stayed at third.

Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star wondered how much Gordon’s defensive ability weighed on Baltimore’s mind as it decided what to do with the runner:

Herrera induced a flyout from Hardy to end the inning and somehow exit the seventh with the game still tied.

With runs coming at a premium in the postseason, failing to score in the seventh was a major blow to Baltimore. Failing to execute like that almost always comes back to haunt teams, especially in this case with the Orioles digging themselves an 0-2 hole after Saturday’s defeat.

Orioles on MASN had Buck Showalter’s thoughts after the game:

Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe and McCullough had thoughts from the Royals’ camp:

According to MLB Public Relations, first pitch for Game 3 is scheduled for Monday at 8:07 p.m. ET at Kauffman Stadium. Wei-Yin Chen will start for Baltimore, with Jeremy Guthrie getting the nod for Kansas City.

Going up 3-0 in the series would be huge for Kansas City. The 2004 Boston Red Sox are the only team in MLB history to climb back from an 0-3 deficit en route to winning the pennant.

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