Royals slug two home runs to take an 8-5 lead in the 10th inning


Alex Gordon has come up huge again. The Royals’ outfielder drove in three runs in the third inning with a bloop double down the right field line and he a nice diving catch in the left-center field gap, saving a run. What more could he do?

An inning after the Royals loaded the bases with no outs and went on to score zero runs, Gordon led off the top of the tenth by slugging a Darren O’Day offering to right field with more than enough distance to clear the fence, putting the Royals up 6-5. Gordon is now 3-for-4 on the night. The Royals weren’t done.

O’Day followed up the Gordon at-bat by walking Salvador Perez. He then struck out Omar Infante before manager Buck Showalter opted to bring in Brian Matusz for the left-on-left matchup against Mike Moustakas. Matusz left a fastball over the plate and Moustakas stung it to deep right-center, clearing the fence for a two-run home run, increasing the Royals’ lead to 8-5. Orioles fans made a beeline to the exits. The blasts mark the Royals’ sixth and seventh home runs of the post-season after bringing up the rear in dingers during the regular season with a paltry 95.

Alcides Escobar flew out and Jarrod Dyson struck out to finish out the top of the tenth inning. If closer Greg Holland is able to record the final three outs in the bottom half of the tenth, the Royals will take the first game of the ALCS.

Royals manager Ned Yost had taken some flack for curious use (and non-use) of his relievers. He satiated the critics on Friday night, as Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis have each pitched two innings, combining to allow no hits and no walks while racking up six strikeouts.

Source: Indians’ Plesac sent home after protocol misstep

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Indians pitcher Zach Plesac was sent back to Cleveland on Sunday in a rental car after violating team rules and Major League Baseball’s coronavirus protocols, a club official told the Associated Press.

The official said the 25-year-old Plesac went out with friends in Chicago on Saturday night following his win against the White Sox. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the team got Plesac a car so he wouldn’t be around teammates in the event he contracted the virus.

It is not known if Plesac has been tested since breaking the team’s code of conduct. He will be isolated from the team and can not take part in team activities until he twice tests negative for COVID-19.

The Athletic first reported Plesac was sent home.

Indians team president Chris Antonetti is expected to address Plesac’s situation following the team’s game in Chicago on Sunday night.

Major League Baseball has been emphasizing the need for players to be more careful and follow its protocols in the wake of coronavirus outbreaks with the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals. The episode with Plesac, the nephew of former big league reliever Dan Plesac, is the most high-profile evidence of baseball’s increasing concern about its guidelines.

Last month, Plesac, who has become a reliable starter for the Indians, spoke of the importance of players abiding to the “code of conduct” that every team was required to submit to MLB in hopes of the 60-game regular season taking place.

“Definitely any time you can maintain social distancing is going to be what we have to focus on,” Plesac said July 3. “There are common sense situations, where you see things are packed, or going out to the bars and drinking – doing stuff like that isn’t stuff that’s really important to us right now and shouldn’t be important to us right now.

“We’re given this privilege to be able to come back and play and given this short window to even play. It’s a good time now just to really buckle down and focus on what’s important and work toward something greater at the end of the season and for these couple months, lock in and focus on what we have set for us at the end of the year.”

Plesac didn’t allow a run and limited the White Sox to five hits in six innings on Saturday to improve to 1-1.

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