The KC Royals used great starting pitching and timely offense to beat Houston, 7-2 in the win or go home Game 5 of the American League Division Series. The Royals are headed to their second straight Championship Series and will face Toronto beginning on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
He retired the first five batters of the game before Evan Gattis reached on an infield single. It was a nice play at third base down the line by Mike Moustakas, but he made a bad throw to first. Luis Valbuena homered on the very next pitch to give the Astros a 2-0 lead (the road team led in every game of the series).
Cueto then retired the final 19 batters he faced. He threw just 91 pitches, 62 for strikes. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
Meanwhile, Astros starter Collin McHugh was cruising through three innings, as he induced two double plays. The Royals offense finally broke through in the fourth, as Lorenzo Cain singled with one out and came around to score on Eric Hosmer‘s single.
In the fifth, the Royals chased McHugh with two on and nobody out. In came Mike Fiers to make his postseason debut. Alex Rios greeted him with a two-run double to give the Royals their first lead. With the longest active postseason drought, Rios came through. After a sac bunt, Ben Zobrist drove in the fourth run with a sac fly.
After Astros lefty Tony Sipp shut the Royals down for two innings (with Pat Neshek recorded the final out in the seventh), the Royals tacked on three runs in the bottom of the eighth against Game 4 starter Dallas Keuchel. With two outs, Kendrys Morales, who hit two home runs in Game 1, hit a three-run homer.
With a bigger lead heading into the ninth, the Royals still handed the ball to closer Wade Davis. He retired the final three batters of the game (22 Astros retired in a row) on just eight pitches. The game and celebration ended on a great catch at the wall by newly inserted Paulo Orlando in right field.
Now the two best teams in terms of regular season records will meet in the ALCS. Game time on Friday night is 7:30pm ET and then on Saturday afternoon at 3:30pm ET.