Stats of the Day: KC joins B2B pennant club
Here are five interesting items from Game 6 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night …
• At Kauffman Stadium, the Royals scored early and late, withstood a pair of Jose Bautista home runs and a ninth-inning rally and came away with a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays to secure the fourth pennant in franchise history. Kansas City, which won pennants in 1980 and '85 prior to its flag in 2014 -- became the 13th team since 1969 (the first year of an LCS) to win consecutive pennants. The full list of those clubs: 1969-71 Orioles (1-2 in World Series play); 1972-74 Athletics (3-0 in WS); 1975-76 Reds (2-0 in WS); 1976-78 Yankees (2-1 in WS); 1977-78 Dodgers (0-2 in WS); 1988-90 Athletics (1-2 in WS); 1991-92 Braves (0-2 in WS); 1992-93 Blue Jays (2-0 in WS); 1995-96 Braves (1-1 in WS); 1998-2001 Yankees (3-1 in WS); 2008-09 Phillies (1-1 in WS); 2010-11 Rangers (0-2 in WS); 2014-15 Royals (lost 2014 WS).
• ALCS MVP Alcides Escobar hit .478 (11-for-23) with two doubles, a triple, six runs scored and five RBIs. The batting average stands as the highest for a player in a six-game ALCS (min. 3.1 plate appearances per game), eclipsing the .458 posted by the Indians' Kenny Lofton in 1995. In his 26-game postseason career, Escobar has hit safely in 23 contests and has amassed 36 hits. In postseason history, Escobar stands as one of four players to hit safely in at least 23 of their first 26 games. Darin Erstad was 24-for-his-first 26, while Thurman Munson and Pat Borders each hit safely in 23 of their first 26. Escobar's 36 postseason hits are the second most in franchise history, with George Brett's 56 leading all Royals.
• In the losing effort, Bautista drove in all three of the Blue Jays' runs. Bautista became the eighth player to have a multi-homer effort in a losing cause in a postseason game that eliminated a team.
• The Royals ended the regular season with the most wins in the AL (95). From 1995-2014, eight of the 20 AL teams that finished the regular season with the league's most wins captured the pennant. Those eight: the 1995 Indians, 1998 Yankees, 1999 Yankees, 2003 Yankees, 2005 White Sox, 2007 Red Sox (tied for most), 2009 Yankees, and 2013 Red Sox.
• Ben Zobrist -- who homered in Game 6 -- finished the ALCS with eight runs scored. The eight set a new mark for the most in a postseason series for the Royals, surpassing Brett's seven in the 1978 ALCS.