KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) After nearly three decades spent as one of the game’s biggest laughingstocks, the Kansas City Royals are headed to their first World Series since 1985 after finishing a four-game sweep in the AL Championship Series with a 2-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Royals will carry an 11-game playoff win streak into the World Series, one shy of the major league record. That includes their first eight this season, something that had never been done in postseason history. Kansas City beat Oakland in a 12-inning wild-card thriller to start things off, then swept the Los Angeles Angels in the Divisional Series.
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Kansas City will open the World Series on Tuesday at home against the winner of the NLCS between the Giants and Cardinals. San Francisco leads that series 3-1.
Jason Vargas and the Royals bullpen held the Orioles to four hits in Game 4 as Greg Holland matched Dennis Eckersley’s record with his fourth save of the best-of-seven series.
With runners on second and third in the first inning, Eric Hosmer hit a chopping groundball to first baseman Steve Pearce, who went home with it. Alcides Escobar slid safely and the ball bounded away from catcher Caleb Joseph, allowing Nori Aoki to follow his teammate home.
Ryan Flaherty homered in the third for the Orioles.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Buster Posey drove in three runs and the San Francisco Giants took advantage of some clunky defense by St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams, beating the Cardinals 6-4 to move within one victory of the World Series.
Chasing their third title in five years, the Giants lead the best-of-seven NL Championship Series 3-1 after poor throws cost the Cardinals yet again.
San Francisco climbed out of an early three-run hole, and back-to-back bad throws by Adams in the sixth inning helped the Giants rally – one night after a wild toss by St. Louis reliever Randy Choate allowed the winning run to score in the 10th inning.
SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda (AP) – Martin Kaymer is making a habit of beating Bubba Watson in head-to-head situations, even at an exhibition of major champions in Bermuda.
Kaymer won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf by surviving a wild day of lead changes. The U.S. Open champion won on the first playoff hole at Port Royal by making a 10-foot birdie and then watching Watson miss his birdie putt from 4 feet.
British Open and PGA champion Rory McIlroy closed with a 75 and was eight shots behind. Jim Furyk, the alternate in this 36-hole event for the year’s four major champions, had a 73 and was another shot behind.
Watson, the Masters championship, shot 69.
IRVING, Texas (AP) – Dallas running back Joseph Randle says he made a ”huge mistake” when he was arrested on a shoplifting charge that led to a fine from the Cowboys, but no suspension.
Randle was charged with a Class B misdemeanor of theft between $50 and $500 after he was accused of taking $123 worth of cologne and underwear from a department store at a suburban Dallas mall on Monday.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Randle would be fined ”significantly” but would play Sunday against the New York Giants. Randle met with Garrett on Tuesday and addressed his teammates before practice Wednesday. He said he appreciated their support.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – The NFL has sent a newsletter outlining the basic facts about the Ebola virus to all team doctors and trainers for distribution to players and staff.
The league said the newsletter was written by the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, the league’s infectious disease consultants, and sent to the league’s 32 teams on Monday.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email the newsletter was informational.
The two doctors who signed the newsletter advised teams that they did not need to screen players or staff to make sure they have not had close contact with anyone who traveled to or from areas where Ebola is now endemic.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The NHL has picked Nashville to host the 2016 All Star game, said a person with knowledge of the decision.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, confirming multiple reports about the game, because neither the NHL nor the Nashville Predators have publicly announced the decision.
The NHL has scheduled a news conference for Friday morning in Nashville where Commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to make the formal announcement.
Bettman said in April 2012 during a trip to Nashville that Music City will host an All Star game. But the commissioner said then he couldn’t give a date with the event needing ”stars to line up.”
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) – Defenseman Jake Muzzin agreed to a five-year, $20 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Kings, passing on a chance at free agency to stick with the defending Stanley Cup champions
Muzzin hasn’t played for the Kings yet this season while recovering from an upper-body injury, but his new deal keeps him with the team through the 2019-20 season.
Los Angeles signed Muzzin as a free agent in January 2010 after he went undrafted in 2009, but he has evolved into a solid NHL defenseman with the potential for even more. Muzzin usually plays alongside Drew Doughty in the Kings’ top defensive pairing, and his new deal extends through his first few potential seasons of unrestricted free agency.
NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber took the extraordinary step of criticizing U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann for not taking Landon Donovan to the World Cup and for saying Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley damaged their careers by returning to MLS from European clubs.
Garber, the league’s commissioner since 1999, questioned whether Klinsmann could be an effective coach while publicly criticizing MLS.
A U.S. Soccer Federation official, speaking on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized, said later that Klinsmann wasn’t in danger of losing his job.
Klinsmann, a World Cup champion with West Germany in 1990 and coach of the German team that reached the 2006 semifinals, was hired by the USSF in July 2011 to replace Bob Bradley. Klinsmann coached the Americans to the title at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the second round of this year’s World Cup, where the U.S. lost 2-1 to Belgium in overtime.