Breaking down KC's postseason run, win-by-win
As the Royals celebrate their World Series championship with a parade in downtown Kansas City, here's a look at back how they claimed the crown.
1) ALDS Game 2: 5-4 vs. Astros
Starting from behind -- where else? -- the Royals are down one game to the Astros in the ALDS and down 4-1 in the third inning of Game 2 when they come up with the first stroke of their comeback masterpiece. Two runs in the sixth forge a 4-4 tie that was broken in the seventh, when Alcides Escobar leads off with a triple and scores on Ben Zobrist's single.
2) ALDS Game 4: 9-6 at Astros
The defining game comes early. The Royals trail, 6-2, entering the eighth inning, six outs away from an early end to their hopes for a redemptive October. It would be 6-6 before they make an out -- the two tying runs scoring when Houston shortstop Carlos Correa whiffs on Kendrys Morales' potential double-play grounder. Alex Gordon pulls a grounder to deliver the go-ahead run, then Eric Hosmer provides the knockout punch with a two-run homer in the ninth.
3) ALDS Game 5: 7-2 vs. Astros
The Royals have all the momentum after their stirring Game 4 comeback, and they REALLY feel comfortable with the Astros holding a 2-0 lead into the fourth. Alex Rios' two-run double in the fifth flips a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead, and the rest is gravy behind Johnny Cueto, who retires the last 19 men he faces in his eight-inning stint.
4) ALCS Game 1: 5-0 vs. Blue Jays
For the first time in the postseason, the Royals never trail. Edinson Volquez makes sure of that, retiring the first 11 batters. By the time Volquez departs after six two-hit innings, he has a 3-0 lead, one of the runs on Salvador Perez's first of four postseason homers.
5) ALCS Game 2: 6-3 vs. Blue Jays
Blue Jays southpaw David Price has his foot down on the Royals' comeback magic. He takes a 3-0 lead into the seventh, having retired 18 in a row since allowing a single to his first batter. Then second baseman Ryan Goins pulls up on Zobrist's leadoff flare to shallow right, and the floodgates open for six hits, five runs and a 2-0 ALCS lead.
6) ALCS Game 4: 14-2 at Blue Jays
Forget the comeback formula for one breakout game. Refusing to knuckle under to R.A. Dickey, Zobrist ignites a four-run first with a two-run homer and the Royals are off on a 15-hit feast. A tip of the cap to the top of the order: Escobar, Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain, one through three, go 6-for-11 with nine RBIs.
7) ALCS Game 6: 4-3 vs. Blue Jays
The Royals feel the blade of their own comeback sword. Jose Bautista's two-run homer in the eighth off Ryan Madson electrifies the Blue Jays into a 3-3 tie. The Royals quickly pull their plug: Cain leads off the bottom of the inning with a walk, takes off as Hosmer lines a single to right and doesn't stop until he has flashed across the plate with the tie-breaking run. Yet the game ends on a ledge: With men on second and third and none out in the ninth, Wade Davis fans two before inducing Josh Donaldson into the pennant-clinching grounder.
8) WS Game 1: 5-4 (14 innings) vs. Mets
The World Series tipping point comes early. The NL champion Mets have a five-game winning streak off their NLCS sweep and a 4-3 lead entering the bottom of the ninth. With one out, Gordon shocks all of New York with a tying homer off Jeurys Familia, who hadn't blown a save since July. Five innings later, Hosmer lifts a walk-off sacrifice fly, casting the die.
9) WS Game 2: 7-1 vs. Mets
Spoiling opposition starters' gems is a big part of the Royals' M.O., and this time they ruin Jacob deGrom, who has them blanked on one hit entering the fifth. Four runs cave in on deGrom in classic Royals move-the-line style: Five hits, all of them singles. Cueto takes it from there, going the route on a two-hitter, the first AL pitcher to complete a World Series game yielding no more than two hits since Boston's Jim Lonborg in 1967.
10) WS Game 4: 5-3 at Mets
The Mets have another late-game lead, 3-2 with one out in the eighth, and they again hear footsteps as soon as Zobrist and Cain draw walks off Tyler Clippard. New York second baseman Daniel Murphy whiffs on Hosmer's low roller, and the error is a fatal sin: The last thing you want to do is give the Royals extra outs. RBI singles by Mike Moustakas and Perez follow. Another adventuresome save by Davis -- with two on and one out, he gets Lucas Duda to line out to short, and Yoenis Cespedes is doubled off first -- puts the bubbly on ice.
11) WS Game 5: 7-2 (12 innings) at Mets
Could there have been a more fitting sign-off on Kansas City's first World Series title in 30 years? They are blanked on four hits through eight by a masterful Matt Harvey, who talks his way into taking the mound in the ninth -- then Hosmer chases him off it with an RBI double before scoring the tying run on a mad dash home from third as Series MVP Perez hits a weak grounder to third off Familia for the second out. From there, it wasn't a matter of "Who?" but "When?" Answer: In a five-run 12th dotted by Cain's three-run double. Trophy time.