The San Francisco Giants unloaded on the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, October 25, to win by a score of 11-4. The win ties the series 2-2 with one more game to be played in San Francisco.
The Giants went back to small ball early on. In the bottom of the first inning, center fielder Gregor Blanco led off with a walk. He then took second on a wild pitch by Kansas City starter Jason Vargas and stole third five pitches later. After a walk by catcher Buster Posey, right fielder Hunter Pence brought Blanco home on a ground ball to the third baseman.
San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong started out strong, but ran into trouble in the top of the third. He got to a situation with a runner on first with two outs, but after a stolen base and an infield single, there were runners on first and third. First baseman Eric Hosmer came to the plate and hit a swinging bunt that went in between Vogelsong and first baseman Brandon Belt. Though Belt fielded it cleanly, Vogelsong couldn’t cover the bag quickly enough. Hosmer was safe and a run came home.
That opened up the floodgates for the Royals. After a walk and two singles, Kansas City led 4-1 and Vogelsong was replaced by reliever Jean Machi, who ended the inning without any more damage.
The Giants got one run back in the bottom of the third on an RBI single by Posey.
In the top of the fourth, San Francisco turned to reliever Yusmeiro Petit, who had been the quiet star of the bullpen throughout the series. Petit delivered, giving the Giants three innings of shutout ball and only allowing two hits.
San Francisco’s offense came alive in the bottom of the fifth. Second baseman Joe Panik led off with a double, and a Posey groundout moved him to third. Pence drove him home on an RBI single. After Vargas was replaced by Danny Duffy, a single by third baseman Pablo Sandoval moved Pence to third, and a four pitch walk to Belt loaded the bases with one out. That brought up left fielder Juan Perez, who hit a blooper to center field. Royals’ center fielder Jarrod Dyson made a spectacular diving catch, but Pence tagged up and came home to tie the game at four runs apiece.
The Giants took the lead in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs on a Sandoval double and adding one more on a single by Belt to make the score 7-4 in favor of the Giants.
San Francisco busted it open in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs to increase the lead to 11-4. The highlight was a double by Panik to the left-center gap that plated two runs.
The offense was led by Pence, who finished the night 3-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. However, San Francisco got production from its entire lineup. 11 San Francisco batters got hits. All of the starters except Vogelsong had at least one, and three of the players that batted in the ninth-spot (Petit and pinch-hitters Matt Duffy and Joaquin Arias) had one.
Game 5 will be tomorrow, with first pitch at 5 p.m. It will be a pitching rematch of Game 1, with Madison Bumgarner facing James Shields. In that game, Bumgarner was masterful and the Giants won 7-1.