The Royals went small ball-crazy with a record-tying seven steals in a single postseason game
Tired of our nation's obsession with home runs? Think that station-to-station baseball is for squares? Then the Royals are the team for you. During the regular season, Kansas City ranked last in the Majors in home runs and first in stolen bases. They lived up to that billing in their AL Wild Card game against the Athletics.
With Ned Yost and his bunt-loving ways at the helm:
The Royals small-balled their way to victory, coming back from a 7-3 deficit with four sacrifice bunts. That number is surprising, as not only were the Royals 22nd in the Majors during the regular season with 33 sacrifices, but they are now tied for the second-most sacrifices in a postseason game.
Far more important than the team's ability to move runners over was their Flash-like speed on the basepaths. The Royals racked up a record-tying seven steals, something that had been accomplished only two other times in Major League postseason history.
Nori Aoki started it with a stolen base in the bottom of the first:
Billy Butler did his best to get in on the act. Though his attempt was less than fleet-of-foot:
After that, the Royals didn't even attempt another steal until the 8th inning. That's when things got wild.
Alcides Escobar led off the inning with a single and soon stole second:
Following his RBI single, Lorenzo Cain also raced towards second:
After Billy Butler atoned for his baserunning mistake with his second RBI, he was lifted for pinch-runner Terrance Gore. Not wanting to be left out, Gore also stole second. (Are you noticing a pattern here?)
To close out the inning, Alex Gordon also swiped second base. Gordon was so fast that by the time the camera cut to him, he was just hanging out, blowing a bubble.
Down one in the bottom of the ninth, Jarrod Dyson was brought on to pinch run for Josh Willingham, who had led off the inning with a single. After being bunted to second, Dyson changed things up by stealing third and showing off his motorcycle-starting abilities:
Dyson scored the tying run on Aoki's sacrifice fly, and then we learned that he's apparently a close-talker.
Finally in the bottom of the twelfth, after nearly five hours of baseball, Colon stole the 7th and final base of the evening:
Which made it very easy to come around to score when Salvador Perez hit this single just beyond Josh Donaldson's reach: