Crown these Royals the American League champions. After nearly three decades spent trying to return to the playoffs, Kansas City is taking its perfect postseason ride all the way to the World Series. With more dominant defense, an opportunistic offense that plated two runs in the first inning, and a bullpen that shut down the Baltimore Orioles once again, Greg Holland and the wild-card Royals wrapped up a sweep of the AL Championship Series with a 2-1 victory today. Next stop: The Royals' first World Series since 1985. They'll face the winner of the NLCS between the Giants and Cardinals. San Francisco leads that series 2-1.
"It's been an amazing run," says left-fielder Alex Gordon, who made another jarring catch. "We've been playing pretty good baseball. It's nothing better than when you win. Today, same old story: good pitching, good defense and scratch out a win." Outfielder Lorenzo Cain was selected MVP of the ALCS, batting .533 and leading an outstanding defense. The Royals already have made history by becoming the first team to win its first eight games in a postseason. (Read more Kansas City Royals stories.)