The 2014 World Series is tied at 1-1 as the Kansas City Royals finish strong with a five-run sixth inning to pull off a 7-2 win over the San Francisco Giants, pretty much forfeiting the game by starting Jake Peavy, who is too big of a liability to let play in such a crucial game.
Peavy has never made it through six innings in the postseason, and that didn’t change as he left early in the sixth, giving up six hits and four runs as the Giants needed a total of five pitchers to get out of that inning, which began in a 2-2 tie but ended with the Royals holding on to the lead firmly. While there wasn’t too much of a difference between the starting pitchers, the bullpen performances decided this game. The last time a team used five pitchers in the same inning of a World Series game were the Cardinals in 1985.
The inning became a complete disaster when Hunter Strickland was on the mound for the Giants, with the score already 5-2 for the Royals. He gave up a home run to Omar Infante, the fifth home run Infante has allowed in these playoffs while facing 23 batters. Only one other relief pitcher who has given up five home runs in a single postseason, the other being Chris Narveson in 2011.
The Giants didn’t hit too badly, as every one of their lineup players got a single hit. Gregor Blanco started the game with a home run, and in the fourth inning Brandon Belt tied things with an RBI-double. But after doing rather well against Yorando Ventura (5.1 innings, 8 hits, two runs, two strikeouts), they managed to get just one hit against three relievers: Kevlin Herrera who got the win, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, who struck out three of the four batters he faced. The Giants happen to be the first team in postseason history with all nine lineup players finishing the game with exactly one hit.
The Royals had just one more hit than the Giants (10-for-32 at the plate), but finished with an excellent 5-of-9 with runners in scoring positions. Their big sixth inning began when Billy Butler hit a single to center and Travis Ishikawa made a bad decision, which allowed Lorenzo Cain to score from second base despite standing right next to Ishikawa. That was followed by Salvador Perez hitting a double that scored two players and the finish came from Infante and his home run.
Butler finished the game with two RBIs, including one in the first inning to score Cain for the first time. It was the Royals’ first RBI with a runner in scoring position since game 2 of the ALCS, going hit less on their previous 17 opportunities since then. That almost tied the record currently held by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2010 postseason, managing a 0-for-18.
Tim Hudson will start next for the Giants, appearing in the World Series for the first time in his career. Jeremy Guthrie will be pitching for the Royals. With the series tied at 1-1, the winner of game 3 goes on to win the World Series 70% of the time.