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Royals take 2-0 series lead
ALCS Royals Orioles B Heal 1
Kansas City Royals' Terrance Gore (0) scores on a double by Alcides Escobar during the ninth inning of Game 2 of the American League championship series against the Baltimore Orioles Saturday in Baltimore. - photo by Associated Press



    BALTIMORE — The Kansas City Royals prefer to simply savor their exceptional performance at Camden Yards rather than ponder the historical ramifications of where it's gotten them.
    Alcides Escobar doubled in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning, Mike Moustakas extended his home run-binge and Kansas City remained perfect in the playoffs, beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-4 Saturday for a 2-0 lead in the AL Championship Series.
    Now, the Royals head back to Kansas City with the knowledge that no team has ever lost a best-of-seven LCS after winning the first two games on the road.
    "We don't want to be the first team to do that," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "That's all I get from that."
    Lorenzo Cain had four hits, scored twice and drove in a run for the wild-card Royals, who are 6-0 in the playoffs this year, including 4-0 on the road. The Orioles hadn't lost two in a row in Baltimore since June 28-29, but Kansas City found a way to quiet the towel-waving, screaming crowds.
    "The atmosphere here is great. It didn't affect us," Butler said. "Now we'll go home and see if they can play in our atmosphere."
    Moustakas homered for the fourth time in five games as the Royals won their ninth straight in the postseason, a string dating to the 1985 World Series.
    "To come in here and win two games against a great team like that, it's huge for us," Moustakas said. "A lot of confidence going back home."
    Game 3 is Monday at Kauffman Stadium. Former Oriole Jeremy Guthrie will start for the Royals against either Wei-Yin Chen or Miguel Gonzalez.
    "We know they're a good team," Royals closer Greg Holland said after earning his second save of the series. "You can't really get too high on yourself."
    The Orioles and manager Buck Showalter's team now must buck history to get Baltimore its first pennant since 1983.
    "If one team can do it, it's us," slugger Nelson Cruz said.
    "The series ain't over," insisted Adam Jones, who hit his first playoff home run. "If you guys (are) thinking it's over, why are we going to show up on Monday?"
    After squeezing out an 8-6 win in 10 innings on Friday night, the Royals again took apart the Baltimore bullpen with a late uprising.
    With the score tied at 4 in the ninth, Omar Infante beat out an infield roller off Darren O'Day, the losing pitcher for the second straight day.
    Zach Britton entered, and Moustakas laid down a bunt that moved pinch-runner Terrance Gore to second. Escobar then sliced an opposite-field grounder inside first base to bring home Gore.
    Cain added an RBI single to become the only Royals player other than Hall of Famer George Brett to have a four-hit game in the postseason.
    For the second time in two games, Wade Davis earned the win and Holland got three outs for the save. Holland struck out Steve Pearce with a runner on to end it.
    "If you could go home 1-1, you're going to be really, really happy," manager Ned Yost said. "If you can go home 2-0, that's as good as it gets."
    Baltimore's Bud Norris allowed four runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings. Royals rookie Yordano Ventura left in the sixth with tightness in his right shoulder after giving up four runs and six hits.
    "He's fine," Yost said. "I don't anticipate him missing this next start."
    Moustakas, the No. 9 hitter, hit a solo homer that put Kansas City up 4-3 in the fourth. Although he homered only once in the last 49 games of the regular season, Moustakas now stands tied with Willie Aikens for most homers by a Royals player in a single postseason.
    "Getting good pitches to hit and not missing them," he said. "That's pretty much it."

Giants take NLCS opener, Bumgarner shuts down Cardinals 3-0 in St. Louis
    ST. LOUIS  — Madison Bumgarner once again put the San Francisco Giants on the road to a playoff victory.
    Bumgarner pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and the Giants combined just enough hitting with a couple of defensive flubs by St. Louis to beat the Cardinals 3-0 Saturday night in the NL Championship Series opener.
    Bumgarner set a major league postseason record with 26 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road.
    The left-hander, already a key part of two World Series championship teams in San Francisco, was in complete command while 20-game winner Adam Wainwright failed to last even five innings for the Cardinals.
    San Francisco has won 12 of its last 13 in the postseason, including three straight to erase a 3-1 deficit in the 2012 NLCS against St. Louis.
    Jake Peavy gets the Game 2 start for the Giants on Sunday night against Lance Lynn.
    Bumgarner, who began the playoffs by throwing a shutout at Pittsburgh in the wild-card game, gave up four hits in 7 2-3 innings.
    Bumgarner bested the mark of 23 straight postseason scoreless innings on the road set by Art Nehf of the New York Giants from 1921-24.
    The Cardinals' threatened against him only in the seventh on consecutive one-out singles by Yadier Molina and Jon Jay, but Kolten Wong tapped out and pinch-hitter Tony Cruz fanned.
    The Giants' bullpen finished with hitless relief as Sergio Romo got the last out in the eighth and Santiago Casilla closed for a save.
    Wainwright failed for the second straight postseason start. And this time, there was no late comeback against a lefty for the Cardinals — they twice did it against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the NL Division Series.
    Wainwright was 20-9 during the regular season, including 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA in September with two complete games and a shutout. He's piled up a major league-high 512 2-3 innings the last two years, and perhaps the workload is finally getting to him.
    The right-hander admitted before this series that his pitching elbow had bothered him during a start in the division series, but insisted he was fine.
    In two October starts this year, Wainwright has permitted eight earned runs in nine innings. He's 0-4 with a 5.14 ERA in his last five postseason appearances — he lasted 4 2-3 innings against the Giants after going just 4 1-3 innings in the NLDS opener vs. the Dodgers.
    Bumgarner and the Giants silenced a sellout crowd of 47,201 in a game that began in 55-degree chill.
    The Cardinals twice failed to seal the deal defensively in the Giants' two-run second.
    Third baseman Matt Carpenter's fielding error with the bases loaded on Gregor Blanco's soft one-hop liner at his feet was their first error of the postseason.
    Pablo Sandoval doubled to start the inning when rookie right fielder Randal Grichuk gloved the ball but couldn't hang on as he ran into the wall. Travis Ishikawa, 0 for 5 with five strikeouts and a walk against Wainwright, had an RBI single on a jam-shot bloop just over Carpenter's head in shallow left.
    Wong misplayed a double-play ball at second base in the third, and Brandon Belt's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.