DYK: Royals to face Mets in World Series
The Royals are headed back to the World Series after outlasting the Blue Jays -- and the rain -- in a back-and-forth, series-clinching 4-3 victory on Friday night. From matching franchise records to unusual occurrences and performances, Game 6 of the American League Championship Series seemingly had a bit of everything.
Here's a look at the top facts and figures to come out of Friday's game, as well as what they might mean for the World Series, which begins Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium (7:30 p.m. ET airtime on FOX, with game time slated for 8 p.m.).
• On the day before his 26th birthday, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer drove in what proved to be the game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. It marked his 23rd career postseason RBI, tying him with Chipper Jones for the second-most all-time before turning 26 years old. Albert Pujols, who notched 29 postseason RBIs before turning 26, holds the all-time record.
• That go-ahead RBI, meanwhile, came on a rare play in which Lorenzo Cain scored all the way from first base on a single with less than two outs. It was actually the second time that Cain had scored from first on a single with less than two outs this postseason. He also did it in Game 5 of the ALDS against Texas, in the fourth inning, also on a hit by Hosmer. Before that, though, the last time it had been accomplished in postseason play was 1924. The New York Giants' Frankie Frisch scored from first on a single by High Pockets Kelly in Game 2 of the 1924 World Series, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
• Alcides Escobar picked up yet another base knock in the Game 6 victory to finish the ALCS with 11 hits. That matches the franchise record for the most hits in a single postseason series, joining Amos Otis (1980 World Series) and Willie Wilson ('85 World Series). Otis and Escobar each needed only six games, while Wilson collected his 11 hits over a seven-game series.
• Wade Davis turned in one of his most unusual outings of his career on Friday night. He not only entered in a tie game in the eighth inning, but he then endured a rain delay, conceded three stolen bases and allowed the potential tying run to reach third base with nobody out before escaping for the win. In Davis' previous 219 relief appearances, including the postseason, he had never allowed even two stolen bases in a single outing, let alone three.
• Davis became just the second reliever in postseason history to earn a win, despite allowing at least three stolen bases. The only other pitcher to pull it off is Jonathan Papelbon, who did so for the Red Sox in Game 2 of the 2007 AL Division Series.
• Though Blue Jays starter David Price seemingly settled in as the game went on, that came only after he had served up home runs to Ben Zobrist and Mike Moustakas in the first two innings. Price ultimately allowed multiple home runs in two of his three postseason starts after doing so in just two of his 32 starts during the regular season.
• The Blue Jays' season ultimately came to a close on Friday night, despite two home runs off the bat of Jose Bautista. That marks only the second time in a best-of-seven series that a player hit multiple home runs in a game in which his team was eliminated. The only other time it happened was Game 6 of the 2011 ALCS when the Tigers lost, 15-5, to the Rangers, despite Miguel Cabrera hitting a pair of home runs.
• Bautista's second homer was certainly a timely one, as he became the first player to hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning or later with his team facing elimination in the LCS since 1986. The last player to do so before Bautista was Houston's Billy Hatcher, who hit a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the 14th inning in a wacky Game 6 of the '86 National League Championship Series. Like the Blue Jays, however, the Astros went on to lose that game, as their season came to an end with a 16-inning loss to the Mets.
• By winning the AL pennant for a second straight year, the Royals became just the second team during the Wild Card era to return to the World Series in a season immediately following a World Series loss. The only other team to accomplish that feat since 1995 is the Rangers, who lost both the 2010 and '11 World Series.
• The Royals will now square off with the NL-champion Mets, who swept the Cubs in the NLCS. This is the seventh time since the LCS became a best-of-seven that one series ended in a sweep, while the other went at least six games. In those previous six instances, the team coming off a sweep went on to win the World Series only one time. The 1995 Braves are the only team to sweep the LCS then win the World Series, while three of the five losing teams followed up their LCS sweep by then being swept themselves in the World Series.