Mike Moustakas homers in 11th inning to lead Royals past Angels in Game 1 of ALDS

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Thanks to a go-ahead solo home run from Mike Moustakas, the Royals topped the Angels 3-2 in 11 innings in Game 1 of the ALDS this evening at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

The Royals grabbed the early lead in this one after Alcides Escobar hit an RBI double off Jered Weaver in the top of the third inning, but the Angels quickly responded with a Chris Iannetta solo homer against Jason Vargas. Omar Infante put Kansas City back in front on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth, but David Freese homered in the next-half inning to tie the score again. It would remain tied until Moustakas’ blast in the 11th.

The Angels had chances to put this game away, but the Royals were bailed out by a pair of circus catches from Nori Aoki in the sixth and seventh innings. Royals manager Ned Yost made some interesting decisions in this game, most notably by hanging with Vargas in the sixth and using — and sticking with — Tim Collins in the ninth and Danny Duffy in the 10th, but it didn’t come back to bite him. Then came the decisive blow from Moustakas, who led off the 11th with a home run against Fernando Salas. It was actually the first hit for the Royals since way back in the fifth inning. It was also Moustakas’ first home run since August 25. Greg Holland, who probably should have been used earlier in the game, pitched a perfect bottom of the 11th to lock down the victory for the Royals.

Including their win over the A’s in the Wild Card Game this week, the Royals are just the third team to begin the playoffs with two extra-inning wins. The 1979 Pirates and the 1969 Orioles are the only others. I hope you have stocked up on antacids, Royals fans.

The Royals and Angels will meet at 9:37 p.m. ET on Friday night for Game 2. Yordano Ventura will start for Kansas City and Matt Shoemaker will pitch for Los Angeles.

Pete Alonso sets new NL rookie record with 40th home run

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With a ninth-inning solo home run off of Royals pitcher Jacob Barnes on Sunday, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso set a new National League rookie record for home runs in a single season. He now has 40 with 36 games left in the regular season.

Cody Bellinger, currently the home run leader with 42, hit 39 home runs in his rookie season in 2017, holding the record until today. The major league record is 52, set by the Yankees’ Aaron Judge also in 2017. Judge had broken Mark McGwire’s record of 49 hit in 1987.

Alonso went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI double, and three runs scored along with the homer. He’s now batting .271 with a .979 OPS with 40 homers and 95 RBI on the season.

With their 11-5 win over the Royals, the Mets improved to 64-60. They have the same exact record as the Phillies and Brewers, sitting 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.