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Royals' Top 10 memorable games of the decade

@FlannyMLB
December 2, 2019

KANSAS CITY -- The decade that is drawing to a close was a glorious one for Royals fans. Under general manager Dayton Moore, the Royals turned around an organization and captured its first winning season in 10 years in 2013, then its first playoff appearance in 29 years in '14,

KANSAS CITY -- The decade that is drawing to a close was a glorious one for Royals fans.

Under general manager Dayton Moore, the Royals turned around an organization and captured its first winning season in 10 years in 2013, then its first playoff appearance in 29 years in '14, and its first World Series championship in 30 years in '15.

From 2013-17, the Royals had a run of relevancy rarely seen among small-market teams.

Here’s a look at the top 10 games of the decade.

1) Royals 9, Athletics 8 (12 innings)
American League Wild Card Game
Sept. 30, 2014

This is when it all turned around. The Royals rallied from a 7-3 deficit in the late innings to force extra innings, rallied from an 8-7 deficit in the 12th inning and won it on Salvador Perez's walk-off single, driving in Christian Colón. That began a run of eight straight playoff wins that season, and forever changed the culture during an amazing two-year run of back-to-back World Series appearances.

2) Royals 7, Mets 2 (12 innings)
Game 5 World Series
Nov. 1, 2015

The Royals captured their first World Series title in 30 years thanks to a dramatic rally from 2-0 down in the ninth, highlighted by Eric Hosmer's mad dash to home plate to tie it. The Royals exploded for five runs in the 12th thanks to a clutch RBI single by Christian Colón (who drove in the tying run in the AL Wild Card Game in 2014 and scored the winning run in that game), which opened the floodgates.

3) Royals 9, Astros 6
Game 4 AL Division Series
Oct. 12, 2015

The Royals were down, 6-2, in the eighth inning, down, 2-1, in the series, and dead in the water. But they pulled off a miraculous five-run rally in the eighth inning -- keep the line moving! The Royals opened the inning with five straight singles, and one key development was a hard, top-spin grounder by Kendrys Morales that danced through the infield to plate two runs, tying the score at 6.

4) Royals 4, Blue Jays 3
Game 6 AL Championship Series
Oct. 23, 2015

The Royals had to sweat out a pulsating ninth inning when the Jays had the potential tying run on third base and the potential go-ahead run on first with none out. But closer Wade Davis got two strikeouts, and then he got Josh Donaldson to ground out for the final out, and the Royals were on their way to a World Series.

5) Royals 5, Mets 4 (14 innings)
Game 1, World Series
Oct. 27, 2015

Alcides Escobar opened the scoring for the Royals with an inside-the-park home run. But the Royals appeared headed for a 4-3 defeat before Alex Gordon dramatically smashed a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off Jeurys Familia to tie the score. Chris Young delivered three key shutout and hitless innings of relief, and Eric Hosmer came through with a sacrifice fly to score Escobar to walk it off.

6) Royals 6, Orioles 4
Game 2, ALCS
Oct. 11, 2014

No one expected the Royals to come back to Kansas City with a 2-0 series lead against the heavily favored Orioles. But the Royals rallied for two runs in the ninth to seal the deal against O's closer Zack Britton. Alcides Escobar delivered the clutch hit, an RBI double, when he slapped a Britton pitch down the right-field line to score pinch-runner Terrance Gore.

7) Royals 10, Giants 0
Game 6, World Series
Oct. 28, 2014

The Royals were in a must-win situation, down, 3-2, in the series to the Giants and returning to Kauffman Stadium. They turned to young right-hander Yordano Ventura to be a hero and he responded with seven shutout innings, giving up just three hits, and the Royals forced a Game 7. One of the greatest pitching performances in Royals playoff history.

8) Royals 7, Astros 2
Game 5, ALDS
Oct. 14, 2015

Coming off the dramatic, season-saving rally in Houston in Game 4, the Royals needed to finish it off at Kauffman Stadium. They turned to Johnny Cueto, who turned in eight innings of two-run ball. And they turned to veteran Kendrys Morales, who blasted a three-run home run in the eighth inning to turn a 4-2 lead into a 7-2 triumph.

9) Royals 8, Angels 3
Game 3, ALDS
Oct. 5, 2014

The Royals’ magical run of 2014 that started with the AL Wild Card win, rolled on with a three-game sweep over the heavily favored Angels. This was a party from the start, capped off by Billy Butler stealing a base late in the game and imitating Jarrod Dyson’s famous and signature vroom-vroom antics while standing on second base. After the game, Eric Hosmer continued his legend by picking up a $12,000 bar bill at the Power & Light District for Royals fans.

10) Royals 3, White Sox 1
Sept. 26, 2014

It all started on this night in Chicago, when the Royals hung on for a 3-1 victory over the White Sox, clinching their first postseason appearance since 1985. A strong contingent of Royals fans made the trek from Kansas City and champagne overflowed in the cramped visiting clubhouse afterward.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.