Instant analysis of Orioles' 8-6 loss to Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of ALCS

Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors share their immediate reaction to Game 1 of the American League Championship Series between the Orioles and the Kansas City Royals at Camden Yards.

Eduardo A. Encina, reporter: The Royals have no fear. Four of their five postseason wins have come in extra innings. The Orioles must rebound and break their momentum somehow in Game 2 or this could be a short series.


Dan Connolly, reporter: Reliever Darren O'Day is one of the key members of this team, on and off the field. But he'll give up homers on occasion. Unfortunately, that occasion occurred Friday night in the 10th inning of an eventual 8-6 loss for the Orioles. O'Day has allowed three homers since mid-September, all in tied games in the ninth or 10th against a powerful left-hander. It happens. And Alex Gordon rakes in Baltimore. But this is one the Orioles could have and maybe should have won. And didn't. It'll sting, but, hey, they nearly came back again.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Orioles dug themselves into a hole and then climbed out of it against Kansas City ace James Shields, but they couldn't get over the top. The supposedly power-challenged Royals, meanwhile, upstaged them with three home runs and won without stealing a single base.

Childs Walker, reporter: I hesitate to draw any conclusions from a game as weird as that. But in the much-anticipated battle of the bullpens, the Royals won by knockout. Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis gave Kansas City four flawless relief innings, while Orioles closer Zach Britton couldn't find the plate and Darren O'Day gave up the game-winning homer to Alex Gordon. There's no reason to think the Orioles' relievers will struggle like this all series. But if they do, this team will be without one of the key weapons that carried it through the regular season and AL Division Series.

Jon Meoli, reporter: It would appear the Royals took the incessant questions about their lack of power and reliance on speed personally. They stole no bases, compared to the Orioles' two, but touched them all on three home runs that made all the difference here. The Orioles got to James Shields eventually, but they could have in the second inning and might have had more cracks at the front of the Royals bullpen if they had. Instead, Kansas City's top three relievers held on and gave the surprisingly powerful offense a chance.

Don Markus, reporter: The Orioles showed some resolve by erasing their early 5-1 deficit, escaping the deep hole closer Zach Britton put them in by throwing 12 straight balls to walk three straight batters to start the ninth inning and making things interesting in the 10th after the Royals scored three runs in the top of the inning. Unfortunately for the Orioles, the Royals showed they are more than just a running team by hitting three home runs, including Alex Gordon's leadoff shot in the 10th off Darren O'Day and a subsequent two-run blast by Mike Moustakas off Brian Matusz that gave the visitors an 8-6 victory.

Dean Jones Jr., editor: And even Oriole Magic couldn't save Game 1. Despite a rough start by Chris Tillman and a poor outing by Zach Britton in the ninth, the Orioles found a way to push the game into extra innings. But Alex Gordon again hurt them, this time with a solo home run in the top of the 10th to send Kansas City to a 1-0 lead in the ALCS.

Ron Fritz, sports editor: I'm glad somebody won this excruciatingly long game. The Orioles showed fight by coming back from four runs and scaring the Royals again in the 10th inning. But Kansas City held on for a big victory in Game 1.

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