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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- 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 on Wednesday.
Next stop: The Royals' first Fall Classic 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. This is great," said 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.
After holding the Orioles to three hits in Game 3 on Tuesday night, Jason Vargas and the Royals bullpen nearly turned the trick again. Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis ushered the game to Holland, who matched Dennis Eckersley's record by saving his fourth game of the best-of-seven series.
Read More: http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?gameId=341015107