Alcides Escobar’s career highlights with the Royals
The Alcides Escobar Era in Kansas City came to a close Saturday afternoon.
Joe Trezza of MLB.com reported the Baltimore Orioles signed Escobar to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring-training camp.
The Royals acquired Escobar on Dec. 19, 2010 as part of the blockbuster Zack Greinke deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, and Escobar was a pivotal part of teams that won the 2014 American League Championship Series and the 2015 World Series.
Escobar batted .311 with 14 extra-base hits in 31 postseason games and was the 2015 ALCS MVP.
While Escobar’s production tumbled badly over the past four seasons, he still provided quite a few memorable moments during his time in Kansas City.
Here are nine of the biggest postseason plays for Escobar from the 2014 Wild Card Game to Game 5 of the 2015 World Series.
1. 2014 Wild Card Game
Oakland’s Jon Lester had a 7-3 lead heading to the bottom of the eighth inning of this game, and most Royals fans thought the season was about over. Instead, things were just getting started. The Royals scored three runs in the eighth inning, and Escobar started it off with a single and a stolen base that fueled the rally.
2. Fast start to the 2014 ALDS
After beating the A’s, the Royals swept the Angels in the American League Division Series. In the opener, Escobar delivered a two-out RBI single that opened the scoring in a game the Royals ended up winning 3-2 in 11 innings.
3. Fast start to the 2014 ALCS
Just as he did in the ALDS, Escobar got the Royals on the board first in the opening game of the American League Championship Series, only this time he did it with a home run. Escobar hit a solo shot of Chris Tillman in the third inning.
4. Late heroics the next day
Game 2 of that ALCS was tied 4-4 in the ninth inning and Baltimore had star closer Zack Britton on the mound. With a runner on second and one out, Escobar doubled home the go-ahead run for the Royals, who went on to win 6-4 and were halfway to their first World Series since 1985.
5. Huge win in 2015 ALDS
After losing Game 1 of the divisional series to the Astros, the Royals trailed 3-0 and 4-1 in the second game. However, they rallied to tie the game at 4-4, and in the seventh inning Escobar tripled and scored on a single by Ben Zobrist as the Royals won and evened the series (Escobar also would deliver a big hit in the eighth inning of that memorable Game 4).
6. Fast start to 2015 ALCS
Escobar’s double off Toronto’s Marco Estrada scored Alex Gordon with the first run of the opening game of the ALCS. In the two ALCS appearances, Escobar batted .390 with a .998 OPS.
7. Starting the World Series with a bang
This is Escobar’s most famous moment with the Royals. Swinging at the first pitch in the 2015 World Series, he hit an inside-the-park home run thanks to a huge gaffe by Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Escobar also scored the winning run in the 14th inning, but this homer got Kauffman Stadium roaring.
8. Huge hit in Game 2, too
The Royals trailed 1-0 in Game 2 of the World Series, but Escobar tied the game with an RBI single as part of a four-run inning as the Royals went on to take a 2-0 series lead.
9. Big double in Game 5
In the 12th inning of Game 5, the Royals had taken a 3-2 lead when Escobar added some insurance with a huge RBI double that had some Mets fans heading for the exits.