Kansas City, appearing in the post-season for the first time in
29 years, drew first blood in the series with their fourth
extra-inning win in five playoff games.
Gordon, who also contributed a three-run double in the third inning
and was hit in the neck with a fastball in the eighth, went 3-for-4
with four runs batted to lead the wild card Royals.
The Royals, who belted the fewest home runs in Major League Baseball
during the regular season, blasted three homers including a solo
shot from Alcides Escobar for the game's first run in the third.
"It seems like whenever we get to extra innings we hit home runs, so
it's a good thing," the 30-year-old Gordon told reporters of their
"I'm getting gray hair already. We just keep grinding away. We have
a good mentality on this team, never give up."
The All-Star left-fielder, who also made a diving catch to save a
run for Kansas City, led off the 10th by crushing a high fastball
from Darren O'Day to snap a 5-5 tie.
O'Day, who had rescued the Orioles by getting Billy Butler to hit
into a bases-loaded double-play in the ninth, gave way to Brian
Matusz who yielded a two-run blast by Moustakas.
Baltimore scored a run in the bottom of the 10th off Royals closer
Greg Holland and brought the winning run to the plate with men on
first and second, but the reliever got Nick Markakis to ground out
to end the lively four and a half hour game.
"It was a good ball game, except the Orioles didn't win," Baltimore
manager Buck Showalter said.
Baltimore, who trailed 4-0 and 5-1, caught the Royals with three
runs in the fifth and another run in the sixth.
An RBI double by Nelson Cruz and a two-out, two-run single by Ryan
Flaherty sparked the fifth-inning outburst.
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Baltimore scored an odd run in the sixth to tie it, when Royals
catcher Salvador Perez appeared to have Jonathan Schoop picked off
second base only to have the runner dash for third.
Shortstop Escobar's throw to third hit Schoop in the back allowing
him to reach the base. Alejandro De Aza followed with a soft blooper
that dropped behind the mound for a game-tying single.
It remained 5-5 until the 10th, when the Royals produced more
Unbeaten in the playoffs so far, Kansas City became the first team
to win four extra-inning games in a post-season.
"It's just one of those things in baseball," Moustakas said. "It's
kind of crazy."
Royals manager Ned Yost explained: "We just find ways to win ball
games. Sometimes it's hitting home runs, sometimes it's stealing
bases and manufacturing runs. Most of the time it's with good
pitching and defense.
"These guys will find a way to get it done."
Game Two of the series is in Baltimore on Saturday.
(Writing by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by John O'Brien)
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