Stellar Royals Defense Led by Lorenzo Cain and Nori Aoki Beats Angels in Game 1 of ALDS (GIFs + Videos)
It’s not exaggerating to say the Royals defense beat the Angels last night. Mike Moustakas hit a solo home run in the 12th that proved to be the game-winner. But the Royals never would have made it to the 12th if not for four amazing catches by center fielder Lorenzo Cain and right fielder Nori Aoki.
That’s right. Four. And the first came on the very first ball the Angels put in play, on the very first pitch they saw, in the bottom of the first inning. Lorenzo Cain made a leaping grab up against the center field wall preventing extra bases:
Starting pitcher Jason Vargas was impressed:
Cain dazzled again in the bottom of the second, and once again Vargas was impressed:
The next big time play came in the bottom of the sixth with the game tied 2-2, two outs, and runners on first and second. Lorenzo Cain tracks a deep fly ball to the gap but can’t quite get there, only to have Nori Aoki sneak in underneath him and make the catch:
And no, it did not hit the wall first:
Aoki then saved the game again in the bottom of the seventh, tracking down a deep fly ball that would have driven in the go-ahead run had it fallen in:
Hats off to the Royals defense. That was absolutely ridiculous.
The Royals now lead their best-of-five series 1-0.