Sunday, January 4, 2015

Ringo bracket: Royals (87) sweep Brewers (87)

Game One: Royals 9, Brewers 8
WP: Quisenberry (1-0)
LP: Clear (0-1)
HR: Deer (1), Balboni (1)

Game Two: Royals 3, Brewers 2 (10 innings)
WP: Quisenberry (2-0)
LP: Crim (0-1)

Game Three: Royals 6, Brewers 4
WP: Gubicza (1-0)
LP: Nieves (01)
Save: Quisenberry (1)
HR: Sveum (1), Seitzer (1)

Game Four: Royals 9, Brewers 8
WP: Black (1-0)
LP: Higuera (0-1)
Save: Quisenberry (2)
HR: Sveum (2)

In a series of shaky starting pitching and even shakier glove work, the Kansas City Royals got the better relief work and all four wins.

The opener pitted Milwaukee's Teddy Higuera against Kansas City's Bret Saberhagen, two of the better starters in the American League in 1987. But the game quickly deteriorated into a sloppy slugfest, with the Brewers committing two errors resulting in unearned runs and the Royals charged with three errors and two unearned runs.

Higuera staggered through eight innings, giving up six earned runs on 11 hits. Saberhagen went seven innings, allowing four earned runs on eight hits. A three-run lead for the Royals in the eighth disappeared behind two walks, three hits and two errors with John Davis on the mound for Kansas City.

With the score knotted at 8 in the ninth inning, Steve Balboni homered off Mark Clear, and Dan Quisenberry entered to retire the Brewers in order in the ninth. As the only effective hurler for the Royals, Quisenberry was awarded the win rather than the save.

Charlie Leibrandt and Bill Wegman were much sharper in the second game. Wegman went 7.1 innings for the Brewers, allows two runs on eight hits. Leibrandt took a three-hit shutout into the ninth. But Ernie Riles led off the bottom of the ninth with a base hit, and Mike Felder followed with a double. Quisenberry entered in relief but could not keep the two runs from scoring. Greg Brock tripled home the tying runs.

The Royals struck back in the top of the 10th. George Brett singled to lead off, Kevin Seitzer drew a walk, and Bo Jackson drove home Brett with a two-out single. Quisenberry wrapped up the game with another 1-2-3 inning for his second W.

The series shifted to Kansas City, and Mark Gubicza gave the Royals eight innings of three-run ball in Game Three. Light-hitting Angel Salazar gave the Royals a 4-1 lead with a two-run double in a three-run fourth inning -- a big inning made possible by a Dale Sveum error. Three of Kansas City's first four runs were unearned. The Brewers were charged with three errors in the game, two of them by third baseman Molitor. Quisenberry gave up a meaningless run in the ninth en route to the save

The Brewers, on the brink of elimination, went back to Higuera on short rest for Game Four. It couldn't have gone much worse for the Brew Crew. Higuera retired only three hitters and was charged with eight runs by the time Chuck Crim got out of the second inning -- all of them earned.

The Brewers got back into the fray with a third inning grand slam by Sveum off Danny Jackson, and when the Kansas City starter walked three straight men with one out in the fourth, Bud Black got the call.

All three inherited runners scored, in part because of a Salazar error, but Black slammed the door for three innings after that. Crim and Clear shut out the Royals for the final five innings, but the Royals had just enough runs to clinch the series. with Quisenberry getting the final three outs.

The Brewers were hampered by an injury to catcher B.J. Surhoff that limited their top backstop to just one at-bat in the series. He would have returned to action had the series reached Game 6.

Player of the series: With acknowledgement to Quisenberry's relief work, Kevin Seitzer is player of the series for his five runs, seven RBIs performance. He hit .400 for the series with a double, triple and home run.

Pitcher availability: All Royals pitchers will be on full rest when the second round opens.

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