Esky earns plenty of gold stars in walk-off win

Royals shortstop logs 4 hits, makes several key defensive plays vs. Braves

Esky earns plenty of gold stars in walk-off win

KANSAS CITY -- There were plenty of stars in the Royals' gritty 4-2 walk-off win in 13 innings over the Braves on Sunday.

There was Kendrys Morales, of course, who belted the game-winning two-run homer. There was left-hander Scott Alexander, who'd thrown the day before but gutted out three more innings in extras to extend the game.

And then there was Alcides Escobar, who scored ahead of Morales after getting the inning started with a single. He had three other hits as well, including a first-inning double, and recorded the eighth four-hit game of his career.

Escobar made several fine defensive plays as well. Simply put, he had his fingerprints all over this win.

Escobar throws out d'Arnaud

"All over it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Esky had a great day today. Four hits. Just had a great day, made some great defensive plays."

Escobar's best appearance at the plate came in the eighth inning when he had a 12-pitch at-bat and finally flared a single to right field that plated Jarrod Dyson, who had doubled. Escobar was thrown out at second trying for a double. The Royals challenged, but the call was ruled as stands.

"He was blocking the bag, but I still got my foot in there," Escobar said.

But the RBI gave the Royals a 2-0 lead that eventually vanished.

Hosmer flashes the leather

"That second run was huge," Yost said. "But he just kept fouling pitches off, fouling pitches off. He made a great play, too, in the hole and threw the guy out at third [in the seventh]. You're right. He just had his fingerprints all over the game."

Escobar faced Jason Grilli leading off the 13th and waited for the right pitch. He got a fastball inside and pulled his hands in, stroking a single to left.

From there, Escobar was convinced one of his teammates would drive him in.

"Oh yeah, for sure," he said. "We had [Alex] Gordon and [Eric Hosmer] and Morales coming up, so someone was going to get me in. I knew that.

"This was a game we needed to win. I'm glad we got it."

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.