ALDS Instant Reaction: Royals Stun Angels 4-1 In 11 Innings

Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels was a nail-biter, with the Royals squeaking out a 3-2 victory thanks to #9 hitter Mike Moustakas' solo home run in the top of the 11th.

Game 2? It took the intensity of Game 1 and turned it up a notch. In the Royals' third-straight extra-inning game to open the 2014 postseason (an MLB first), the Royals would pick up their third-straight victory, 4-1 - keyed by a monster of a two-run home run by first baseman Eric Hosmer in the top of the 11th (breaking a 1-all tie).

Turning Point: The Royals turned a stunning 3-6-3 double play on a grounder by Los Angeles left fielder Josh Hamilton to end the 10th on a jaw-dropping note. After Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar's YouTube-worthy defensive clinic, Hosmer one-upped himself with the aforementioned moonshot to right field. This sent the Royals' dugout into euphoria and, with a 2-0 series lead, to the brink of advancement.

Angels Player of the Game: Right fielder Kole Calhoun's presence at the top of the Angels' lineup is often overlooked with all of the marquee names that are listed beneath. However, Calhoun showed on Friday why he has earned a regular gig as the table-setter for those guys - going 2-for-4 (the only Angel with multiple hits) with one run scored while once again covering a vast amount of ground out in right. A special tip of the cap also goes to starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker, who gave up just one unearned run in six stellar frames to open the proceedings.

Royals Player of the Game: Eric Hosmer. That's basically academic after he put the Royals on his back in the 10th and delivered them to within one game of the ALCS.

However, you've also got to hand it to 23-year-old Dominican Republic native Yordano Ventura. The young Royals starting pitcher was inserted into Tuesday's Wild Card game (just two days after throwing 73 pitches in KC's regular-season finale) against the Oakland A's and promptly surrendered what looked to be a huge 3-run home run to Oakland slugger Brandon Moss. Fast forward to Friday and Ventura showed no ill effects where others' confidence might have been shaken - throwing seven impressive innings of five-hit, one-run baseball to hamstring the Angels' vaunted offense from the start.

What's Next? The scene shifts to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City for Game 3 on Sunday. "Big Game" James Shields (14-8, 3.21) is slated to make his second start of the postseason against Los Angeles' CJ Wilson (13-10, 4.51). First pitch is scheduled for 5:07pm CDT/3:07pm PST on TBS.

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