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Late inning rallies lift Royals over Angels for series win

Kansas City tied it in the ninth, and won it in the 10th. After the way this season has gone for the Royals, are you even surprised?

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The ESPN broadcast featured everything: BBQ, love for the Royals, even Curt Schilling saying the phrase "I am a heterosexual." The main event didn't disappoint either; the Royals and Angels played a brilliant baseball game full of web gem defensive plays, clutch hits, and fantastic pitching performances.

In the end, a ninth-inning rally and an extra-innings victory gave yet another sellout crowd reason to celebrate an already amazing season in Kansas City.

Things began well enough for the boys in blue; the Royals wasted no time jumping on Hector Santiago from the beginning. Alcides Escobar, shockingly, swung at the first pitch and reached on a single. He scored from first on Ben Zobrist's double to left field. Two batters later, Eric Hosmer drove in Zobrist with a single to give Kansas City a 2-0 advantage.

The knock marked Hosmer's 10th straight game with at least one RBI, making him just the third player in team history to do so.

Yordano Ventura, was, for the most part, very good. He breezed through the first five frames, keeping the Angles off the board. Trouble struck in the sixth when Kole Calhoun led off with a triple, and he trotted home when Ventura uncorked a wild pitch. Three batters later, David Murphy wacked a hanging breaking ball over the Angels bullpen for a game-tying home run. It was his seventh of the year.

After returning for the seventh inning and getting the Angels in order, Ventura's outing concluded after 105 pitches. It was his second straight quality start. He went seven innings, allowing five hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out seven.

In the bottom of the seventh, frustrations boiled over with home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott's strike zone. Santiago appeared to deliver strike three to Salvador Perez, but the sweeping breaking ball was ruled inside. On the next pitch, Santiago threw another off-speed pitch even further inside than the previous, but Wolcott ruled the pitch strike three. Following about 30 seconds of quiet conversation, Wolcott ejected Perez from the game as a chorus of boos rained down on Kauffman Stadium. It was the first ejection of Perez' career.

Overall, it was a very solid start for Santiago, who threw seven innings of two-run ball. He allowed just three hits, all of which came in the first frame, and struck out five Royals.

The game remained deadlocked until the top of the eighth inning. Wade Davis didn't take long to change that, serving up a solo home run to Calhoun. It was the 17th home run of the season for Calhoun, and after not allowing a home run for more than two years, it was the second big fly allowed by Davis in his last four outings.

Down to their last three outs, the Royals went to work in the ninth against closer Huston Street. Hosmer led off the frame with a walk. Morales grounded out, but the runner advanced into scoring position. Mike Moustakas was intentionally walked to put two on with one out for...Drew Butera, hitting in Salvador Perez's seventh slot. His plate appearance was probably his best of his season, working a seven-pitch walk to load the bases with one out.

That's when Alex Rios tied the game with a sacrifice fly, marking the fourth blown save of Street's season. Paulo Orlando had a chance to win the game when he lifted a fly ball into the right-center gap, but Mike Trout made a spectacular diving catch to save the game for the Angels.

Davis was on the hook for the loss before the ninth-inning rally. Of his six earned runs allowed this year, four of them have come in four August appearances. His ERA is above 1.00 (1.13) for the first time all year.

Kelvin Herrera worked a 1-2-3 10th inning to keep the Angels at bay. He earned the win, improving him to 4-2 on the year.

It wasn't until the 10th inning when Ben Zobrist snuck a single through the right-side hole, giving the Royals their first hit since the very first inning. 33 men went to the plate in between hits, which is staggering considering how Kansas City leads the American League in batting average. After a groundout, Hosmer worked his third walk of the evening to bring up Kendrys Morales, who lined an opposite-field single to win the game. It was his 83rd RBI of the year.

Trevor Gott (2-1) took his first loss of the season.

The result for the Royals was an impressive series victory. At 71-46, Kansas City is 25 games over .500 for the first time in three decades.

Kansas City will get a day off tomorrow before resuming play on Tuesday. The Royals will play a quick two-game set in Cincinnati against the Reds; Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.27 ERA) will oppose rookie Raisel Iglesias (3-4, 4.70)