Roger Schlueter

MLB Notebook: O's, Royals follow season trends

MLB Notebook: O's, Royals follow season trends

During the 2014 regular season, no team had more multihomer games than the Baltimore Orioles, who knocked out at least two round-trippers in 61 contests. The O's enjoyed notable success during these affairs, claiming victory in 49 of them for an .803 winning percentage that far surpassed the overall Major League winning percentage (.718) in this scenario.

On the other hand, no club played in more contests in which they hit fewer than two homers than the Royals. Kansas City played in 139 of them this season, and they managed to emerge with a winning record -- one game over .500 at 70-69. Overall, Major League teams in 2014 played .440 ball when hitting no more than one homer.

For the O's and Royals, Thursday's American League Division Series contests were a continuation of their season-long trends.

American League Division Series (Tigers vs. Orioles)
The Orioles punished the Tigers for 12 hits -- including two home runs -- in 12-3 win Thursday in the opener of their best-of-five ALDS.

  Date   Matchup/Result Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 2   BAL 12, DET 3 video
Gm 2 Oct. 3   BAL 7, DET 6 video
Gm 3 Oct. 5   BAL 2, DET 1 video

The 12 runs established a new postseason record for the Orioles' franchise, surpassing the 11 the club scored on four past occasions (most recently in Game 3 of the 1983 AL Championship Series). The 12 runs allowed by the Tigers were the second most for the franchise, behind the 15 surrendered in a loss to the Rangers in Game 6 of the 2011 ALCS.

The 12 runs were tied for the second-most scored by a club in Game 1 of a Division Series. The White Sox blasted the Red Sox, 14-2, in 2005. The '02 Cardinals (vs. the D-backs), '07 Indians (vs. the Yankees) and '13 Red Sox (vs. the Rays) each scored a dozen runs in their series-opening wins, and all went on to win their series.

• Five Orioles (Nick Markakis, Alejandro De Aza, Victor Cruz, Steve Pearce, and Jonathan Schoop) had multihit games. The previous most recent time the team had at least five of its players with at least two hits was Game 2 of the 1997 ALDS against the Mariners, when six did it and helped Baltimore to a 9-3 win over Seattle.

• Cruz hit his 15th playoff homer to tie Babe Ruth for the 10th most in postseason history. Cruz's 15 have come through 35 games, tying Carlos Beltran for the most for any player through his first 35 postseason contests. Cruz also drove in three runs in the game, and he now has 30 RBIs in his 35 postseason games. Those 30 through the first 35 games are tied for the fourth most. Lou Gehrig had 35 (in 34 career postseason games) , followed by Lance Berkman (33), David Ortiz (31) and Jim Edmonds (30).

• de Aza contributed a pair of doubles, scored once and drove in two in his postseason debut. He's the 25th player to mark his playoff debut with at least two extra-base hits and two RBIs, and one of two Orioles to do it, joining B.J. Surhoff (two solo homers in Game 1 of the 1996 ALDS).

• On the other side, Tigers left fielder J.D. Martinez homered in his first postseason at-bat. He is the 10th Tigers player to go deep in his debut, and the first since pitcher Mickey Lolich in Game 2 of the 1968 World Series to take the additional step of hitting one out in his first at-bat.

• After 1,365 regular season games, Markakis made his postseason debut and made an imprint across the boxscore with two runs, two hits, an RBI and a walk. He is the second player to bat in the leadoff spot and contribute at least two runs scored while reaching safely at least three times in his postseason debut. In Game 1 of the 2005 ALDS, White Sox left fielder Scott Podsednik had two hits, a walk, two runs scored and three RBIs (he homered and singled).

• Batting ninth for the O's, Schoop also had a memorable postseason debut with a double, single and two RBIs. At 22 years and 351 days old, Schoop was the fifth-youngest player to have his postseason debut feature at least two hits and at least two RBIs. The Pirates' Jimmy Sebring was the youngest, going 3-for-5 with four RBIs at 21 years and 190 days old during Game 1 of the 1903 World Series.

American League Division Series (Royals vs. Angels)
On a 1-1 pitch to lead off the top of the 11th inning, Mike Moustakas delivered the Royals' first home run of the 2014 postseason -- one that carried Kansas City to a 3-2 victory in their ALDS opener against the Angels.

  Date Time Matchup/Result Network
Gm 1 Oct. 2   KC 3, LAA 2 video
Gm 2 Oct. 3   KC 4, LAA 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 5   KC 8, LAA 3 video

Moustakas' homer was the 32nd in postseason history to come in the 11th inning or later and put the batter's team ahead or win the game. It was the first of the 32 to come from a Royals batter, and the 14th of the 32 to come in a Division Series contest. Moustakas' shot was also the first for a Royals player in extra-innings. In contrast, four players -- Bernie Williams, Javy Lopez, Ortiz and Cruz -- each have two career postseason homers in extras.

• The Royals won the AL Wild Card Game, 9-8, in 12 innings, and now have an 11-inning win in the Division Series. During the regular season, Kansas City ranked 10th in the AL in winning percentage in one-run games, and their winning percentage in extra-innings games ranked 12th in the AL. Of the 10 teams who made the postseason this year, the Royals were the only club to have a winning percentage below .500 in both of these situations.

• This was the 25th postseason Game 1 (not counting Wild Card Games) to go into extra innings. With the Royals' victory, the visiting team has gone 11-13-1. The tie came in Game 1 of the 1907 World Series between the Tigers (the visiting team) and Cubs.

• The Angels' two runs came from a Chris Iannetta solo homer in the third inning and a David Freese solo shot in the fifth. Iannetta was the 14th catcher to homer while hitting out of the No. 9 spot in the batting order. The first to do this -- Bob Boone in Game 3 of the 1982 ALCS -- was also a member of the Angels.

• Freese now has 24 extra-base hits in 49 career postseason games. Only Beltran (30), Ortiz (27), Jayson Werth (26), Reggie Jackson (24), Cruz (24) and Jim Edmonds (24) have had as many or more through 49 playoff games.

Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.