Kansas City Royals outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Norichika Aoki were on fire last night as each took two astonishing catches to keep Los Angeles Angels down as their side grabbed an 11th-inning 3-2 win on the West coast.
Third baseman Mike Moustakas thumped the game-winning homer over right centre field to give the Royals a 1-0 lead in the five-game American League Division Series. The two sides had each other’s equal throughout the game, with both teams grabbing a run each in the third and fifth innings.
While the two sides were separated by Moustakas superb homer, credit must also go to Cain and Aoki who took four outstanding catches between them.
Cain and Aoki Show
Cain’s first catch came from the very first pitch in the opening frame by Jason Vargas to Kole Calhoun. The outfielder got hold of the pitch and sent it down centre which began a footrace for Cain, who sprinted straight at the fence.
The 28-year-old took a second to compose himself and jumped full stretch, grabbing at the ball with his mitt as his body slammed into the padded walls.
If that wasn’t enough for Cain the centre fielder took a second incredible catch in the second inning.
Diving Catches Galore
With the Angels on two outs, up stepped Erick Aybar who clipped a hit over second base and in front of Cain. The outfielder, who only took up organised baseball in his sophomore year in college, made a diving catch after making up 15 yards on a ball which was fading on him.
Not to be outdone by his teammate, Aoki kept up the phenomenal fielding at right field.
With runners on first and second with two outs in the sixth, the Angels got Howie Kendrick to the plate to deliver a huge hit. Kendrick obliged but his shot couldn’t allude Aoki who took the catch at the wall.
But the catch of the night was Aoki’s second. At the bottom of the seventh with a runner on third designated hitter C. J. Cron spanked a fastball down to deep right field.
A back-peddling Aoki looked up into the Californian night sky and spotted the ball at the last second, making a diving catch low to his left on the warning surface.
Aoki, his pitcher and his bench all looked at each other in astonishment as none of them could believe how awesome his catch was.
So the momentum is with the Royals who are participating in their first postseason in 29 years but the two sides look evenly matched to set up a mouth-watering Division Series.