On October 9, 1977, the New York Yankees scored three runs in the ninth inning to stun the Kansas City Royals, 5-3 . . . the Royals up 3-2 were on the cusp of their first World Series appearance. Staff ace, Dennis Leonard comes in to try to close out the victory. Leonard allows the first two batters to get on via a single and walk. Larry Gura, replaces Leonard and Mickey Rivers delivers a crushing single to right to tie the game up on a 2-2 count. Mark Little becomes the 3rd Royal pitcher of the inning and with the count 3-1, Willie Randolph gives the Yankees a lead with a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Two batters later the Yankees get an insurance run on an error by future hall of famer George Brett.
Up 5-3, Sparky Lyle who will win the Cy Young award in a month closes out the side 3 up and 3 down. The Yankees win their second consecutive American League pennant. This is the second time the Royals and Yankees will face each other in the ALCS, in total they will play 4 times in 5 years in the ALCS. The previous year the Yankees also won in game 5 on a walk-off home run by Chris Chambliss.
The Yankees will face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.