Royals take a 4-0 lead with a four-run third inning in Game 1 of the ALCS

8 Comments

Update: The Orioles got a run back in the bottom half of the third inning. Nick Markakis led off with a double down the right field line and moved to third base on Alejandro De Aza’s ground out to second base. Markakis scored on an Adam Jones line drive single to left field, cutting the score to 4-1. It could have been worse, but Alex Gordon saved an additional run from scoring when he made a sprawling catch in the gap in left-center to retire Steve Pearce for the third out.

* * *

Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar belted a high 2-0 Chris Tillman fastball into the seats in left field at Camden Yards to give his team a 1-0 lead with one out in the top of the third inning. The Royals weren’t done.

Tillman continued to struggle after allowing the home run to Escobar, serving up a single to Norichika Aoki and walking Lorenzo Cain. He then fell behind Eric Hosmer 3-0, but battled back to record a strikeout. Billy Butler reached when first baseman Steve Pearce couldn’t handle the bounce on J.J. Hardy’s throw on a ground ball deep in the hole, loading the bases. With a full count, Alex Gordon cleared the bases with a broken-bat bloop down the right field line, upping the Royals’ lead to 4-0. Mercifully, Salvador Perez flied out to left field to end the inning.

Tommy Hunter began warming up in the bullpen during Gordon’s at-bat. Tillman will head into the fourth inning having thrown 59 pitches.

The Royals notably entered the post-season having hit 95 home runs during the regular season. Shockingly, they hit four in their sweep of the Angels and it appears they are continuing the power surge to begin the ALCS.

Escobar is not exactly known for his power, either. The 27-year-old hit only three home runs in 620 plate appearances during the regular season, and has hit just 21 in his career spanning 3,198 plate appearances.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.