Royals bullpen has them in position to continue postseason play

The Kansas City Royals have used a stellar corps of relievers to put them one win away from going back to the World Series for the first time in 29 years.

Matt Slocum/AP
Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Greg Holland is congratulated by Salvador Perez following Game 3 of the American League baseball championship series Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals won 2-1 and lead the series 3-0.

The Kansas City Royals are on the cusp of reaching the third World Series in their 46-year history.

They wouldn't be in this position without their bullpen, which worked to perfection Tuesday night in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series as the Royals edged the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.

They now lead the best-of-seven championship series, three games to none. Game 4 is Wednesday in Kansas City.

The late-inning combination of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland has produced a combined earned run average of 1.24, with two victories during the postseason. Holland, who saved 46 games during the regular season, has recorded five saves so far this October.

Royal relievers have accounted for six of the seven team wins this fall. Jason Frasor got the victory in the wildcard playoff game and the win in Tuesday night's ALCS Game 3. Danny Duffy and Brandon Finnegan each have a postseason win in the AL Divisional Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Overall, the Royal relief corps has pitched a total of 31 innings so far this postseason, giving up just five earned runs.

Left-hander Jason Vargas gets the ball for Kansas City in Game 4 at Kauffman Stadium. Miguel Gonzalez will start for the Orioles as they try to stave off elimination.

"It's hard to take advantage of mistakes when they're not making any," Baltimore first baseman Steve Pearce said.

The Royals have won 10 consecutive postseason games, including all seven this year. The streak dates to the final three games of the 1985 World Series against St. Louis.

And for once, history is on Kansas City's side.

Baltimore is the 34th major league team to trail 3-0 in a best-of-seven postseason series. The only one to come back and win was the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS against the New York Yankees.

Vargas has not started since Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels on Oct. 2.

"I'll be ready to go," he said.

Gonzalez's last start was his final regular-season outing on Sept. 28.

"I'm going to try as best as possible to give our team a chance," he said.

You can watch Game 4 of the ALCS on TBS, beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this article.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.