Joseph on O's strategy against the stolen base and the Royals offense

KANSAS CITY - A major storyline coming into the American League Championship Series was whether the Orioles could slow the Kansas City running game

The Royals were 12-for-13 stealing bases in going 4-0 in the postseason before taking on the Orioles. Well, they are 1-for-3 in steals in the ALCS. Jarrod Dyson, who stole 36 of 43 in the regular season, has been thrown out by Nick Hundley and Caleb Joseph. Plus, Alex Gordon was picked off first base in Game 1.

The Orioles have employed a strategy at first base where Steve Pearce sometimes holds the runner and other times he plays a few feet off the bag but can get back to the bag for a pickoff attempt.

That strategy with Pearce is working so far, Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph said this afternoon.

joseph-catching-white-sidebar.jpg"Yeah, I think so," Joseph said. "You look at their first movements there when they (a pinch-runner) first got into the game and you could tell there was a little hesitancy there. Anything helps right now. They are going to have to make an adjustment and we'll go back and make another adjustment and that is what this game is all about, especially in a short series."

One of the biggest cheers last night at Camden Yards came when Joseph threw out Dyson in the top of the seventh of a 4-4 tie. He had just come on to pinch-run for Nori Aoki and Andrew Miller was on the mound.

"It all started with Andrew and Pearce mixing up the looks and giving me an opportunity," Joseph said. "Andrew gave me an opportunity to throw him out with a good time and J.J. (Hardy) put on a great tag. If you get that tag maybe a half-second later, he's definitely safe. Everything worked together well for us there."

O's manager Buck Showalter was asked at his press conference here today about the strategy with Pearce and holding runners.

"We've got a couple of things. You're just trying to ‑ what's the thing, that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? It's pretty obvious that the percentages are high in their favor, seems like with all their guys, but five or six of them. It doesn't preclude them from stealing a base. There's some things you do a little differently when teams have a real strength," Showalter said.

Of course, not stealing bases has not kept K.C. from scoring runs. They have 14 runs and 25 hits in this series with a team average of .329. They have the one steal. but have hit four homers in this series and eight in going 6-0 this postseason.

"They are taking advantage of all their opportunities," Joseph said. "They are making the most of it and getting timely hits. Sometimes it's a ground ball to the right side, sometimes it's a home run. They are getting timely hits and we have to start doing that and counter their enthusiasm and the streak they are on right now."

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