Nori Aoki’s 2-RBI Triple Keeps Royals Playoff Hopes Alive


Sep 21, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals right fielder Nori Aoki (23) hits a two-run triple against the Detroit Tigers during the fourth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals managed to win the final game of their showdown vs. the Tigers with 5-2 victory Sunday afternoon. The win keeps alive Kansas City’s hopes to take the A.L. Central title.

Nori Aoki struck the key blow with a 2-RBI triple in the 4th inning to give Kansas City a 4-2 lead.

Jeremy Guthrie provided a decent start against a powerful lineup, going 5.1 innings while allowing only 1 earned urn. Guthrie, however, need help from the pen to get out of a 2-on, 1 out jam in the 6th inning.

The win puts Kansas City 14 games over .500 at 84-70. Kansas City now trail the Tigers by 1.5 games i the A.L. Central with 8 games left to play.

On the Mound

Jeremy Guthrie gave a good effort on Sunday, going 5.1 innings while allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, and 2 runs (1 earned) with 2 strikeouts. Guthrie left the game with runners on 1st and 2nd in the 6th inning with 1 out, and Kansas City leading 4-2. Guthrie notched his 12th win of the season (12-11).

Kelvin Herrera bailed out Guthrie by by getting the final 2 outs of the 6th inning, stranding 2 baserunners. Herrera also pitched the 7th, to go 1.2 innings, allowing 1 hit, no runs, and 1 strikeout.

Wade Davis pitched a clean 8th inning with 2 strikeouts.

Greg Holland nailed down his 43rd save in the 9th with a clean inning that included 2 strikeouts.

At the Plate

Billy Butler opened the scoring for the Royals with an RBI single in the first to drive in Lorenzo Cain from 3rd base. Unfortunately, Alcides Escobar got thrown out attempting to steal 2nd after a leadoff single or else it might have been a bigger inning.

Kansas City added another run in the 2nd on Alcides Escobar’s double to drive in Omar Infante from 2nd.wev

Nori Aoki struck the big blow in the bottom of the 4th after the Tigers tied up the game 2-2 in the top of the inning. Aoki tripled with 2 men on base to plate 2 runs.

The Royals added an insurance run in the 7th on Alex Gordon‘s double that scored Terrance Gore from 3rd.

Overall, the Royals rapped out 11 hits, drew 3 walks, and scored 5 runs.

This and That

Kansas City finish their season series against the Tigers at a pitiful 6-13. If the Royals miss the playoffs this season, it will be due in large part to their inability to beat Detroit head up.with

Manager Ned Yost could not resist playing small ball in the 4th inning after Omar Infante’s leadoff walk and Mike Moustakas‘ single. He asked the hot-hitting Escobar to bunt. Instead, Alcides hit an infield popup caught by Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello. Nori Aoki bailed Ned out of the wasted out by slamming a triple to right field.

The Royals again played sloppy defense that could have been costly. With 1 out and a runner on 3rd, Alex Gordon fielded a short pop-fly to left that was too shallow to score the runner. However, Brian Holaday faked toward home to draw a throw, which glanced off Moustakas’ glove for an error. Holaday then was able to trot home.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

With all due respect to Jeremy Guthrie, our award goes to Nori Aoki for his 2-run triple that put Kansas City up by 2 runs in the 4th inning, right after the Tigers tied the game in the top of the inning. Not only was it a big blow, it also returned the momentum to Kansas City.

More from Kansas City Royals

The Tigers

Ian Kinsler broke through against Jeremy Guthrie in the 3rd inning, slamming a solo shot (16) over the left field wall to lead off the inning. Kinsler went 1 for 4 with the home run, 1 run scored, and 1 RBI.

Up Next

The Royals start their final road trip of the season in Cleveland on Monday. Kansas City will send Danny Duffy (8-11, 2.42 ERA) to the mound, against Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 2.65 ERA) for the Indians. Game time is 6:05 PM CST at Progressive Field in Cleveland.