The Royals — who hadn’t made a playoff appearance in 29 years and had to make it through the American League Wild Card Game this year — are now just one win away from advancing to the World Series.
Jeremy Guthrie held the dangerous Orioles attack to one run over five solid innings and the Kansas City offense scratched out two runs on an Alex Gordon groundout and a Billy Butler sac fly as the Royals defeated the visiting Orioles 2-1 in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Tuesday night at a loud and jam-packed Kauffman Stadium.
Baltimore managed only three hits the entire night, and all three of those came against Guthrie within the first three innings of the game. Kansas City’s bullpen was flat-out dominant, with Jason Frasor, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and closer Greg Holland combining to no-hit the O’s over the final four frames.
The Royals are 7-0 in these playoffs and they can roll into the Fall Classic at 8-0 with a pennant-clinching win on Wednesday afternoon. Jason Vargas will face Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez. What a ride.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.