Key moments from Game 4 of the AL Championship Series

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Just in case: Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman takes part in the pregame news conference just in case the series continues Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. It's tough to be too definitive about a game that wasn't certain to take place — and won't — but he deftly handles a couple questions about Jeremy Guthrie's controversial T-shirt.

National anthem: David Cook, who won the seventh season of American Idol, sings the tune.


Plane salute: The Air Force flyover comes from nearby Whiteman Air Force Base.

Quick inning: Kansas City starter Jason Vargas retires the Orioles on seven pitches in the top of the first inning, charging up the announced sellout crowd at Kauffman Stadium — as if it needs any charging up.


First hit: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar leads off the bottom of the first inning with the first hit of the game, which — in keeping with the theme of this series — is a four-hopper that caroms off second base.

All they need: The Royals score the first two runs of the game on a soft chopper by Eric Hosmer when catcher Caleb Joseph can't handle Steve Pearce's throw to the plate. Four Royals reach base in the inning without a ball getting out of the infield.

Long drive: The Orioles score their only run of the game in the third inning, when Ryan Flaherty hooks a line drive around the right-field foul pole for a solo home run. It is his first home run on the road all season.

What a play: Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon makes a great running, leaping catch to rob J.J. Hardy of a double in the fifth inning, then crashes into the fence and gets up slowly. The Royals outfielders have been terrific throughout the series.

Using their strength: Jason Vargas gives way to the Royals bullpen with one out and a runner on first base in the sixth inning. He leaves the game after allowing just one run and two hits in 5 1/3 innings. Right-hander Kelvin Herrera replaces him and gets Steve Pearce to pop out. After giving up a single to Adam Jones, Herrera gets out of the inning on a lineout by Nelson Cruz.

Solid start, not enough: Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez leaves with two runners on base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning after allowing two runs (one earned) and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. Darren O'Day comes on to get the last out.

Relief roles: The bullpen battle is a draw, but the Royals keep their one-run lead and celebrate with cheap champagne soon after the game ends. Orioles relief pitchers hold Kansas City hitters to one hit and one walk in 2 1/3 innings, while the Royals bullpen only gives up two hits and one walk in 3 2/3 innings.