Finally 'Royal' again--Kansas City wins pennant

KANSAS CITY--Seven presidential terms. The entire run of The Oprah Winfrey Show. The public unveiling and widespread adoption of the Internet. A playoff appearance by literally every other team in Major League Baseball.

These are some of the things that happened since the Kansas City Royals last reached the World Series. Or, more accurately, some of the things between Royals World Series appearances.

Buoyed by a two-run first inning, more spectacular defense and a bullpen that held on late yet again, the Royals earned a 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles to complete their sweep of the American League Championship Series.

Kansas City will make its first World Series appearance since 1985 against either the San Francisco Giants or St. Louis Cardinals, who play later Wednesday night. The Giants currently have a 2-1 lead in their best-of-seven series. The Royals went a combined 6-1 against St. Louis and San Francisco during the regular season.

Though they will nonetheless likely enter the Fall Classic as an underdog against either National League team, that's par for the course for these Royals. They were down to their final at-bat twice against the Oakland Athletics but came back with clutch hits each time. They went to extra innings four times. All but two of their games were within two runs.

They are as the only team in MLB history to win eight straight games to start a postseason.

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