KC rallies with 3-run 5th, earns ALCS spot

Rios delivers key two-run double, later scores on sac fly

KC rallies with 3-run 5th, earns ALCS spot

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals rallied in the fifth inning, scoring three runs to take a two-run lead over the Astros and eventually winning, 7-2, in Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium

The victory clinched Kansas City's second straight appearance in the AL Championship Series, which starts Friday (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX) against the Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium.

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Astros right-hander Collin McHugh, who picked up the win in Game 1 after throwing six strong innings, gave up a run in the fourth on back-to-back singles to Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer, and led off the fifth by hitting Salvador Perez with a 3-2 curveball.

Alex Gordon followed with a ground-rule double, as Astros right fielder George Springer was playing shallow and the ball went over his head and over the right-field fence. It knocked McHugh from the game, as Astros manager A.J. Hinch called on right-hander Mike Fiers, who hadn't pitched since Sept. 29.

Fiers promptly gave up a two-run double to Alex Rios down the left-field line to give the Royals their first lead of the game. Alcides Escobar dropped down a sacrifice bunt to set up a sacrifice fly from Ben Zobrist for an insurance run.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.