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.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”