Video: Lorenzo Cain’s speed helps Royals take late lead in ALCS clincher

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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With ALCS Game 6 tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning and both teams coming out of a rain delay lasting roughly 45 minutes, Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain kickstarted a rally when he drew a walk against Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna.

First baseman Eric Hosmer then ripped a single down the right field line, which right fielder Jose Bautista adroitly corralled. Bautista, however, wheeled and fired a high-arcing throw towards second base. Upon seeing that, Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele waved Cain home. Cain scored easily to break the tie, putting the Royals up 3-3.

Bautista didn’t exactly make a poor play. His effort limits the runner to a single every time, and most runners aren’t quick enough to score on that kind of a play, nor are most third base coaches willing to take such a big risk in such an important situation as Jirschele was. It was a situation when one great strategy went up against another great strategy. The Royals happened to win that battle.

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Closer Wade Davis got into some trouble in the top of the ninth, but saw his way out of it with back-to-back strikeouts and a game-ending ground out to send the Royals back to the World Series. They’ll play the Mets for all the marbles, with Game 1 starting on Tuesday.