Both the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals took the opening bout in their respective ALDS series on Thursday night in dramatic fashion – albeit in very different ways.
Buck Showalter‘s Orioles relied heavily on an eight-run outburst in the eighth inning, cruising to a 12-3 win over the American League Central division champion Detroit Tigers – setting a new franchise postseason record for runs in a single game in the process. Nelson Cruz led the way for Baltimore, hitting a two-run home run early and contributing three RBIs on the night.
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In the other American League Division Series matchup, the underdog Kansas City Royals took down the host Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, thanks to a solo blast from third baseman Mike Moustakas in the top of the 11th inning by a 3-2 final. The Angels’ 2-3-4 trio of Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick went 0-for-9 with three strikeouts in the loss.
Former Chicago Cubs’ ace Jeff Samardzija‘s name has been oft-mentioned in potential trade rumors of late, following the Oakland Athletics’ early departure from the playoffs. His trade value is high for a team that – once again – failed to advance deep into the postseason, despite a bevy of midseason moves aimed at a World Series title. Chicago is also eyeing the offseason, where it is expected that the club will be very active in the market – although to what extent remains to be seen.
Here’s more from the MLB postseason and around the league:
“Stephen Strasburg to start NLDS opener for Nationals” – Call to the Pen
“Crazy eights in Baltimore Orioles’ ALDS victory” – Birds Watcher
“Mike Moustakas’ homer lifts Royals over Angels, 3-2” – Kings of Kaufmann
“Detroit Tigers’ bullpen woes loom in Game One loss” – Call to the Pen