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ALCS Game 1 Overflow #1: Royals 4, Orioles 0, Middle of 3rd

Royals put up a four-spot in the third to jump on top early.

H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Lorenzo Cain had a two-out infield single in the first, and Billy Butler singled to lead off the second, but neither advanced past first base.

After cruising through the Orioles first three batters, James Shields loaded the bases in the home half of the second before escaping unscathed.

Then Alcides Escobar hung a beautiful dong to left with one down in the top of the third, putting the Royals in front. Norichika Aoki followed with a lazy fly into shallow left field that fell for a single, and Lorenzo Cain drew a four-pitch walk to bring ALDS hero Eric Hosmer to the plate with two on. Hosmer took the first three pitches for balls--two were on the edge of the strike zone--before taking strike one and committing on a check swing for strike two. With the count full, Hosmer swung for the fences, and swung right through a 94-MPH fastball on the inner third of the plate. Billy Butler reached safely on a close play on an infield single that Steven Pearce was unable to gather cleanly on a tough hop on the J.J. Hardy throw from deep in the hole. To the plate stepped Alex Gordon, who has historically crushed the ball in Baltimore--8 HR in 26 games at Camden--and he broke his bat in the process of fisting a pitch down the line in right. By the time all was said and done, Butler slid in as the third run on the play, and Gordon was standing on third, advancing on a Jonathan Schoop error on the relay.