The Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland Athletics 9-8 in a thrilling, 12-inning do-or-die Wild Card playoff to eke out a victory in their first post-season game for 29 years.

Salvador Perez, who had twice failed to drive in runners on third base earlier in the game, pulled a two-out base hit past diving third baseman Josh Donaldson to score Christian Colon and end a nearly five-hour battle.

Colon, whose infield single scored Eric Hosmer with the tying run, had reached second by recording the seventh stolen base for a fleet-footed Royals team that had rallied in the bottom of the ninth to force extra innings.

"This is the craziest game I ever played," said Hosmer, who began the winning rally with a one-out triple high off the wall in left-centre.

"No one believed in us before the game. No one believed in us before the season."

The action-packed victory in the one-game showdown that launched MLB's postseason sent Kansas City to a best-of-five AL Divisional Series against the Angels starting in Los Angeles on Thursday.

The National League Wild Card playoff is set for Wednesday between the visiting San Francisco Giants and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Source: Reuters