World Series: Royals Force Game Seven With 10-Run Beating
Score: Royals 10 – Giants 0
Series: Series tied 3-3
Game Hero: Lorenzo Cain, 2-3, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 R
Game Summary: The Kansas City Royals hadn’t scored a run since the third inning of Game Four. So, naturally, the Royals scored seven runs in the second inning of an elimination game and cruised to a 10-0 win over the San Francisco Giants. Such has been the Royals’ pattern when their backs have been up against the wall this season.
The game began innocently enough, with the Giants and Royals traded zeros in the first inning. Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura allowed a one-out double to Hunter Pence in the second, but he stranded Pence, keeping the game scoreless going into the bottom of the inning. It didn’t take long for the entire tenor of the game to change.
Alex Gordon, who has struggled throughout the World Series, led-off the second with a bloop base-hit to center off of Giants’ starter Jake Peavy. Salvador Perez then lined a single to right, moving Gordon to third. Mike Moustakas came to the plate and he hit a groundball down the first base line that took a funny hop and evaded Brandon Belt. The play went for a run-scoring double, breaking the Royals’ scoreless streak at 16 innings.
Peavy looked like he might wiggle out of further damage when he struck-out Omar Infante with runners on second and third with no-outs. Alcides Escobar then hit a soft groundball to first that Belt fielded several feet away from the bag. He hesitated before running to first, looking at the runner at third before making his move. Escobar beat Belt to the bag with a feet-first slide and the bases were now loaded. Nori Aoki slapped a well-placed groundball into left to score Perez, ending Peavy’s night with two runs in, three runners left on and only 1.1 innings pitched.
Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy turned to super-longman Yusmeiro Petit, who has saved the Giants in numerous occasions this post-season. Petit didn’t have his good stuff in Game Six and that, combined with some bad luck, cost him and the Giants. Lorenzo Cain was the first batter Petit faced and Cain blooped another single in front of centerfielder Gregor Blanco, scoring Moustakas and Escobar.
The Giants had a chance to make a game of it again in the top of the third. After sitting through the long bottom of the second, Ventura looked a bit out of sorts in the third. He struck-out Travis Ishikawa to start the inning, but then walked Brandon Crawford, Blanco and Joe Panik, loading the bases for Buster Posey. With Ventura seemingly on the ropes, Posey made the curious decision to chase the first pitch and he grounded into a 6-3 double-play to end the inning.
After that, the rest of the game was just a matter of seeing how deep into the respective bullpens the two teams could get with Game Seven looming on the horizon. Ventura gave the Royals seven strong innings. He walked five, but he struck-out four and allowed just three hits, giving his bullpen a rest. Jason Frasor and Tim Collins each pitched relatively stress-free shutout innings to close out the game. The Royals should have their entire pitching staff – save Ventura – available in Game Seven.
The Giants, meanwhile, were able to stay away from their key late-game relievers, but they dug deep into their middle relief corps. After Petit allowed three inherited runners to score and two more of his own to cross the plate in the second, he was pulled after just two-thirds of an inning pitched. Presumably he will be available in Game Seven. Jean Machi (3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 51 pitches) and Hunter Strickland (2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER (a homer), 1 BB, 25 pitches) may not be available, however. Game Four starter Ryan Vogelsong pitched the ninth and may be limited in Game Seven, as well.
One pitcher who didn’t appear was Tim Lincecum, who warmed up during the second inning but never entered the game. Lincecum has made one appearance in the World Series thus far, leaving his outing with a back injury in Game Two. If healthy, Lincecum is one reliever who could give the Giants several innings if needed in Game Seven. Game One and Five starter Madison Bumgarner said before Game Six that he would be available, although after throwing a complete game in Game Five, it seems likely that he would be limited to one or two innings at most.
What’s Next: Veterans Tim Hudson and Jeremy Guthrie will square off in Game Seven. Both pitchers made their World Series debuts in Game Three of the series, which was won by the Royals, 3-2. Game Three was the only close game of the World Series thus far. The Royals and Giants currently have the longest winning streaks in games in which they can be eliminated from the post-season. One of those streaks will end on Wednesday night.