Three keys for Royals in Game 3 against Angels

Shields looks to send KC to American League Championship Series

Three keys for Royals in Game 3 against Angels

ANAHEIM -- The Royals are just one victory away from winning an American League Division Series, something they've never done before. Heck, there was no such thing as an ALDS or a Wild Card Game the last time they were in the postseason, 1985.

So they'd like to get into the AL Championship Series -- they did win that in '85 against Toronto -- and make a try for another World Series. First they've got to win a third game against the Angels, and here are three keys to doing that in Game 3 on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. CT (watch on TBS).

1. A nice, long start from James Shields
Shields was pulled after just five-plus innings in the Wild Card Game, which turned into a marathon runfest. He's an old hand at October pressure -- this will be his eighth postseason start -- and a dominant seven innings would be huge for the Royals.

  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

2. More of less from the Angels' big guns
Mike Trout is 0-for-8 in the two-hole. Albert Pujols finally got an RBI single on Friday night, but he's just 1-for-8 in the three-hole. Howie Kendrick, the cleanup hitter, is just 1-for-9. Continue that and the prospects are good.

3. Ride the momentum of a Kansas City crowd
There's no doubt that Kauffman Stadium will be rocking with boys and girls in blue in what should be the wildest scene in years. Maybe 29 years, come to think of it. The fans should help.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.