BALTIMORE -- Terrance Gore normally comes out of the dugout expecting to steal second base, but on Saturday night, in the late stages of the Royals' 6-4 win in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, his instructions were very clear: Stay close to the bag, don't get picked off, and wait for Mike Moustakas to move you into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.
"I think that was a good play by us," Gore said, even though baseball fans everywhere were scratching their head at Ned Yost opting to give away an out with a hot hitter at the plate and his fastest runner on first. "I think it was the right decision."
As has been the case with everything the Royals have done this October, it worked.
The speedy Gore moved to second with one out in the ninth inning of a tie game from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. And because so much speed represented the go-ahead run in such a crucial juncture, Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop
had to watch Gore closely at second, which meant first baseman Steve Pearce
had to shade well off first base, which opened up a gaping hole down the right-field line for the right-handed Alcides Escobar
On the very next pitch, Escobar hit a sharp grounder through the right side, at perhaps the exact location Pearce would've been had it not been for the threat of Gore's speed, and the Royals took the lead for good, ultimately earning a commanding 2-0 lead over the Orioles in the ALCS.
Gore's first run of the postseason couldn't have come at a better time.
"Felt good," he said. "That's a big run. We kept battling, never came back. [Escobar] came through with a big hit, a big double, and then Jarrod Dyson
comes up, causes havoc [while reaching on an error], like always. That's what we do. Once the speed guys get on, we just go from there."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.