October 23, 2014

World Series 2: Royals 7, Giants 2

Giants - 100 100 000 - 2  9  0
Royals - 110 005 00x - 7 10  0
Salvador Perez smacked a two-run double and Omar Infante launched a two-run homer as the Royals scored five times in the sixth inning. The Giants tied a World Series record by using five pitchers in the inning. Perez and Infante got their hits off Hunter Strickland, who got into a shouting match with Perez as Infante finished circling the bases.

On the Fox broadcast, Harold Reynolds theorized that Strickland was yelling at himself into his glove and Perez, jogging from third to home, thought the words were directed at him. However, replays showed that when Perez turned to look at Strickland, the Giants pitcher was standing over by the third base line, clearly not talking into his glove. (No matter who he was yelling at, Strickland was obviously frustrated, having now allowed five home runs in this postseason.)

The series is tied 1-1 and the next three games are in San Francisco, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

The game began with a bang for the Giants as Gregor Blanco homered of Yordano Ventura (5.1-8-2-0-2, 87), but the Royals tied it right away in the bottom half, off Jake Peavy (5-6-4-2-1, 66). Alcides Escobar singled to start the inning but was thrown out trying to steal for the second out. Lorenzo Cain doubled to left-center and, after Eric Hosmer walked, scored on Billy Butler's hard single past the dive of Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.

The Royals took their first lead of the series in the second when Infante doubled with one out and scored on Escobar's double into the right field corner. From there, Peavy got into a groove, retiring the next ten KC hitters on only 28 pitches. In the meantime, his San Francisco teammates tied the score on fourth-inning doubles from Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt.

With the double, Sandoval reached reached base for the 25th consecutive postseason game. It's the third-longest streak in history, tied with Boog Powell of the Orioles. Only Miguel Cabrera (31) and Chase Utley (27) have longer postseason on-base streaks.

The sixth inning was the key frame. Ventura allowed two singles and left with men on first and second and one out. Royals manager Ned Yost went into Playoff Assassin mode, bringing in Kelvin Herrera, the first arm in his lights-out trio of relievers. Herrera came in throwing darts at 100 and 101 mph, getting Belt to fly to left and retiring Michael Morse on a fielder's choice grounder.

In the bottom half, Peavy gave up a single to Cain and then walked Hosmer. Jean Machi came in from the pen and Butler greeted him with a single to left. Cain sprinted around from second and scored without a play, giving Kansas City a 3-2 lead. Giants manager Bruce Bochy then called on southpaw Javier Lopez, who got Alex Gordon to fly to left for the first out. Bochy brought in Strickland, who got ahead of Perez 0-2 before throwing a wild pitch, giving up the two-run double, and then the two-run homer before barking at Perez. Jeremy Affeldt finished the inning, allowing a single and getting a double play.

The Royals pen finished the game without incident. Wade Davis set down the Giants in order in the eighth, striking out two. Greg Holland recorded three strikeouts in the ninth, though he did allow a two-out single.

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