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- Kansas City beat San Francisco, 7-2, in Game 3 of the 2014 World Series.
- The Royals scored five runs in the sixth inning.
- The series is now tied at one game apiece.
The Kansas City Royals relied on a huge sixth-inning scoring spree to get past the San Francisco Giants, 7-2, in Game 2 of the 2014 World Series on Oct. 22. With the Royals’ win, they tied the series at one game apiece.
Billy Butler’s RBI single, Salvador Perez’s two-run double and O/3/Infante’s two-run home run were all part of a huge sixth inning for the Royals, which tied the series at one game apiece, per MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel:
“Now the upstart, unbridled, uninhibited Royals are back in business. They’ve surged back into the nation’s consciousness, evening the World Series at one game each as the stage moves to San Francisco.
“The Kansas City club landed a sixth-inning haymaker on the Giants and surged to a 7-2 victory in Game 2 of the 110th Fall Classic on Wednesday night with a blue-hued crowd of 40,446 roaring at Kauffman Stadium.
“Billy Butler had a game-tying RBI single in the first and and a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth to lead the Royals, while Salvador Perez doubled in two and O/3/Infante followed a two-run homer in the sixth inning as the Royals blew open the game and rebounded from a Game 1 loss.
“‘We showed them that we have fight in us and I think they knew that already,’ Butler said. ‘But we stepped up big there as a team…We feel confident going in there 1-1.’
“Winning pitcher Kelvin Herrera bailed out Royals starter Yordano Ventura with 1 2/3 scoreless innings. The other two of the Backend Boys, Wade Davis and Greg Holland, each added a shutout inning.
“The Giants’ frustration, at least in the person of rookie pitcher Hunter Strickland, showed through late in the Royals’ big eruption. Words were exchanged with Perez and some players emerged from the dugouts and bullpens, but peace was quickly restored.
“…Giants starter Jake Peavy seemed to have taken control of a 2-2 game by retiring 10 straight batters going into the sixth inning. Then trouble erupted for him and joy surfaced for the Royals and their Blue Zoo backers.
“Lorenzo Cain singled, Eric Hosmer walked and Peavy was lifted for the first of four relievers in the inning. Butler singled and in his second run of the game off Jean Machi. Alex Gordon flied out against Javier Lopez, but Perez banged a two-run double into the left-center gap off Strickland.
“Infante teed off on a drive into the left-field bullpen, a two-run homer that meant a a five-run lead was in place. It was his first blast in 145 postseason at-bats.
“‘It was great for me because they say I don’t do well in the postseason, but this home run is very important for me,’ Infante said.”
ESPN’s Jayson Stark weighed in on the chess match between Royals manager Ned Yost and his counterpart, the Giants’ Bruce Bochy, in his Oct. 23 blog:
“Yost basically has three closers to maneuver his way through the late innings. Which, by his own admission, makes strategic late-game thinking optional.
“Bochy, on the other hand, has to always play the always-precarious mix-and-match game. And as brilliant as he normally is at playing that game, there are going to be nights when the mix doesn’t fit the match.
“And this night was one of them.
“‘Those are the matchups we were trying to get,’ Bochy foud himself saying, after using five pitchers to try to maneuver through a disastrous five-run sixth inning. ‘It just didn’t work out.’
“Yeah, you might say that. Those five runs? They were the most allowed by any team in the World Series inning in four years, since the Texas Rangers let the Giants hang a seven on the board in Game 2 of the 2010 World Series.
“And those five pitchers? They were the most used by any team in any World Series inning since — wait for it — Game 7, 1985, a.k.a. the last time the Royals won a World Series game before this night, when the Cardinals ripped through Bill Campbell, Jeff Lahti, Rick Horton, Joaquin Andujar and Bob Forsch in the fifth inning of the game that ended their season. And wow, what were the odds of that?
“But the question for the masses to debate on this fateful evening was this: Did Bochy put the wrong pieces in the wrong spaces on the chess board? Or was it just one of those nights? Fascinating question, isn’t it?
“‘I think it’s baseball, you know?’ said Affeldt, the fifth Giants pitcher of that inning. ‘I think it can happen in these situations…And this just happened. They hit a homer with guys on. And they hit a double with guys on. And that’s how a five-run inning happens.’
“But a five-run inning also happens when the manager sends out his starting pitcher (Jake Peavy) to go through the lineup for the third time, and trouble ensues immediately.”
Game 3 of the 2014 World Series will be on Oct. 24 at San Francisco’s AT&T Park at 8:07 p.m. ET, per Kaegel.