The Rundown: Orioles, Royals Complete Surprising Sweeps

Let’s flash back a little more than two months. The Detroit Tigers, in a shocking trade, acquired left-handed ace David Price. The move appeared to be a slam-dunk response to the A’s trading for Jon Lester and Jeff Samardzija and gave the Tigers three top starters.

It was practically a foregone conclusion that the two teams would meet in the ALCS. However, baseball happened, and both teams are now finished.

The Tigers, with Price on the bump, were swept by the Orioles on Sunday. It was another one-run affair, with Baltimore getting the 2-1 edge.

The big blow came in the sixth inning, when Nelson Cruz hit a two-run blast. Otherwise, Price pitched well, going 8 innings and striking out six. But the Detroit offense only managed four hits.

Really did not see this series outcome coming.

Another sweep

The ALCS is already set, after the Royals made quick work of the Angels with a 8-3 win on Sunday.

This one was basically never in doubt. Eric Hosmer continued his hot playoffs with an early homer, and Thursday’s hero Mike Moustakas hit one as well.

Then the Royals did more of what they do best: pitch well, play great defense and steal some bases. Even Billy Butler got in on the stolen base parade.

Well, I picked both of these series wrong. (My NL picks are looking a little better.)

You can’t help but be impressed with the way Kansas City is playing right now. They look legit.

Should be a great ALCS.

Other notes

* Nick Cafardo from the Boston Globe writes that the Cubs are seriously considering Manny Ramirez to be their major league hitting coach. Theo Epstein addressed this topic at his postseason press conference last week, but said he was waiting to hear if Ramirez was ready to retire from playing.

The Cubs’ former assistant hitting coach, Mike Brumley, was offered another position within the organization at the end of the season, so an opening exists. Sounds like we should maybe start working on our “Manny being Manny” jokes.

* Two Cubs prospects who were injured in a car crash in the Dominican Republic in January are working their way back, writes Carrie Muskat.

Pitcher Jose Zapata on Saturday faced batters for the first time since the crash, and outfielder Kevin Encarnacion is expected to play in an instructional league game on Monday.

The details of the crash are pretty scary; Zapata suffered a broken neck and was told he might not walk again. Encarnacion was originally told he might not be able to use his right arm.

Great to hear these two are on the mend.

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