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Royals Defense is Difference in Game 1 Win Over Angels

Aoki's catch in the bottom of the seventh saves the game, KC wins it in Extras.

Jeff Gross


The Angels had some great episodes of batting the ball but Kansas City's outfield defense had magic gloves on tonight.

Here is the blow by blow...

First Inning - Jered Weaver looked good. Got real lucky on a dramatic liner that went right to David Freese's glove but his pickoff of Aoki was All-World. Lorenzo Cain robs Kole Calhoun as a deep fly ball dies at the steep R/CF wall near section 240. Could have been a triple under ordinary fielder conditions.

Second Inning - Weaver walks Eric Hosmer who is erased on a great Erick Aybar-led double play - he almost gets taken out but still has time to double up Billy Butler. Slo-Mo replay of Butler running was cruel and unusual punishment to all Americans with an extra forty pounds around the waist. Aybar robbed by Cain on a shallow fly.

Third Inning - Weaver starts with his second strikeout. Then his third. Then he walks a guy. Bummer as no the defense has a chance to be involved in the inning, or should we say LACK of defense. Josh Hamilton cannot get to a deep fly at the bullpens and it is 1-0. Weaver gets out of it but, still, Cowgill has that ball all night and all day. HamBone starts the bottom of the frame with a weak lineout. Cron sees two pitches, two out. Then Chris Iannetta hits a bomb to the LF Bullpen It was a thing of beauty and we are tied at one run apiece.

Fourth Inning - Wife brought takeout from an Italian place - Shrimp Pesto Gnocci and nothing happened in the game. It was delicious.

Fifth Inning - Hamilton defense again costs us on the warning track. What a joke. Prior to that, the announcers said that Trout had lost a ball in the lights. He did nothing of the sort. Knowing that he could not get to the ball Trout lifted his glove as a decoy. Alex Gordon didn't buy it and strolled into 2B but the announcers didn't get it at all. In the bottom of the fifth the Angels got their second hit and it was also their second home run

Sixth Inning - Weaver strikes out Escobar to start the inning instead of striking him out when there are two outs. And a man on like there was in the third inning. Then Aoki is up. TBS says "Great contact man, tough to fan" and of course it is a K3 swing and miss. A flyout and it is Weaver's quickest inning. Calhoun gets on in the bottom of the inning, Trout pops. Albert walks and Howie drives one to the wall. A great catch by Aoki saves Vargas. Game of inches.

Seventh Inning - An even easier Top of the Seventh for Weaver does see a few high and mighty fly outs. The final popout is Weaver's 100th pitch. After a big buildup about the three-headed monster that is the KC bullpen, Monster Head number one walks David Freese and is taken out with an apparent injury. Aybar bunts him over and Hamilton gets a "productive out" moving him to 3B ...two outs and another pitching change... Cron smashes a dramatic blast to deep RF but Aoki again makes an amazing catch (after taking an initial lousy route). WTF?

Eighth Inning - Joe Smith in. That went quick. Iannetta's third true outcome: leadoff walk. Kole Calhoun pops up a bunt... so sad. Iannetta gets to 2B anyway on a Passed Ball and Trout walks but then it is an Albert pop out and a Howie strikeout. Shoulda had Calhoun swinging for the fences there.

Ninth Inning - Huston Street in. So quick. Eleven pitches. Then we get the leadoff hitter on. Aybar bunts him over. Hamilton sucks. Cron Walks. Iannetta grounds out on the first pitch and we are in extras.

Tenth Inning - Kevin Jepsen gets a strikeout but walks Billy Butler. Pinch Runner steals and Scioscia calls for the IBB. Two on, one out. Hey it worked for them shouldn't it work for us? Hey look a fly out and a foul out. Calhoun gets a base hit to start the tenth's bottom but Trout grounds out. With a man on Pujols pops out and Howie strikes out. If there is a silver lining there was talk of starting Danny Duffy in the series. He threw nineteen pitches. Maybe not.

Eleventh Inning - Fernando Salas surrenders a solo home run to Mike Moustakas. Then he got three outs but still, there it is. With one out Aybar gets called out on a clear check swing by the home plate umpire. Then pathetic Hamilton pops up.