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

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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.

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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.

Yankees, Astros lineups for ALCS Game 6

Brad Peacock
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Things haven’t gone quite according to plan for the Astros, who missed the opportunity to clinch the American League Championship Series after losing 4-1 to the Yankees in Game 5 on Friday. Still just one win away from a World Series invitation, they’ll try their luck again on Saturday night.

Neither lineup has been significantly altered for Game 6. The Yankees will try to push the series to a final Game 7 with right-hander Chad Green, backed by this configuration:

1. DJ LeMahieu (R) 1B
2. Aaron Judge (R) RF
3. Gleyber Torres (R) 2B
4. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
5. Edwin Encarnación (R) DH
6. Didi Gregorius (L) SS
7. Gary Sánchez (R) C
8. Gio Urshela (R) 3B
9. Brett Gardner (L) LF

The Astros, meanwhile, will send Brad Peacock to the mound in what figures to be a bullpen game for both sides, marking the righty’s first official postseason start since the 2017 ALDS. Martín Maldonado is back in the lineup, as is Josh Reddick, while both Robinson Chirinos and Jack Marisnick will be available off the bench.

1. George Springer (R) CF
2. José Altuve (R) 2B
3. Michael Brantley (L) LF
4. Alex Bregman (R) 3B
5. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
6. Carlos Correa (R) SS
7. Yordan Álvarez (L) DH
8. Martín Maldonado (R) C
9. Josh Reddick (L) RF

Starting tonight, the ALCS returns to Houston for Game 6 and a potential Game 7. Game time is set for 8:08 PM EDT.