With five-run sixth, Royals knot World Series at 1

Butler, Perez, Infante deliver big hits, then KC's 'pen slams the door

With five-run sixth, Royals knot World Series at 1

KANSAS CITY -- 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.

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Billy Butler had a game-tying RBI single in the first and a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth to lead the Royals, while Salvador Perez doubled in two and Omar Infante followed with 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.

If the Royals aren't exactly America's sweethearts, they're loved in Kansas City.

"It's crazy out there, our fans were just rabid," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "You look up there and I think there's half the crowd that doesn't sit down for the entire game ... It's a fun atmosphere."

The Fall Classic takes Thursday off with Game 3 scheduled on Friday at AT&T Park. FOX's pregame show begins at 6:30 p.m. CT, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. CT.

"Every game's huge," said the Royals' Mike Moustakas. "It's the World Series."

HOW THE ROYALS WON THE GAME

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 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 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.

AND NOW A FEW WORDS FROM ...

As Perez and Infante crossed home plate, Strickland was seen shouting and, sensing a brouhaha, a stream of players headed from the Royals' dugout and the Giants milled around, as well.

"I just said, 'What are you looking at?' I said it a couple times, that's all I said," Perez said.

Strickland explained he was frustrated over giving up five home runs in the postseason.

"My emotions just got the best of me. I'm not too proud of that but it is what it is. I can't take it back," he said.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he'd discuss the matter with Strickland.

"He's an intense kid and it probably got away from him a little bit," Bochy said.

Perez, in victory, portrayed himself as a man of peace.

"I don't want to fight with anybody," Perez said. "That's not professional for me. So forget about it."

THE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Powerful start: The Giants, who revved up with three first-inning runs in Game 1, wasted no time getting on the board in Game 2. Gregor Blanco lofted Ventura's 3-2 pitch into the right-field bullpen to start the game, the 10th leadoff home run in World Series history.

"That's one of those things where as a manager, that really doesn't bother you," Yost said. "Just hold the fort from that point on, get your rhythm going, get yourself established and then from the second inning roll. And that's exactly what he did."

Ventura lasted through two singles and an out in the sixth. Herrera came in throwing 101-mph fastballs and got two quick outs, then pitched past two walks for a scoreless seventh. Davis struck out two in a perfect eighth and Holland gave up a ninth-inning single, but struck out the side.

Does it feel special for Herrera to be lighting up the radar readings?

"No, I feel like when I was 16 years old, throwing 89. Same thing," he said.

Butler does it: Was Peavy squirming when Butler came to the plate with two out and two on in the bottom of the first? Perhaps not, but Butler certainly had his number, to wit: 14-for-33 (.424), with three homers in the past. Sure enough, Butler drilled a single past shortstop Brandon Crawford, and Lorenzo Cain, on with a double, scored for a 1-1 tie.

"Billy Butler hit that ball and you go back and look and it's about an inch from Craw's glove. It takes some breaks sometimes, too, and we didn't catch many," Peavy said.

When Butler was due up again, with two on and no outs in the sixth, the Giants moved quickly to remove Peavy. Didn't matter -- Butler lined an RBI single off Machi for a 3-2 Royals lead in what ballooned into the decisive inning.

Doubles, then double play: Doubles by Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt gave the Giants a 2-2 tie in the fourth. Then a botched play resulted in a double play. Right fielder Nori Aoki caught Michael Morse's fly and threw in the general direction of third base. Shortstop Alcides Escobar deflected the ball while Belt, reversing direction, scrambled back toward second base. Ventura recovered the ball and fired to Infante in time to nail Belt and end the inning.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Given the string of relatively short outings, the bullpen has been credited with seven of the Royals' nine victories this postseason, including Wednesday night. That matches the 2003 Marlins for the most bullpen victories by one team in a single postseason. Kansas City relievers are a combined 7-0 with a 1.81 ERA this postseason.

The veteran second baseman, Infante, was responsible for two of those extra-base hits, notching a double and a two-run homer that broke the game open in the sixth inning. The homer came in Infante's 145th career postseason at-bat, snapping the second-longest active drought in the Majors. The Cardinals' Jon Jay (189 postseason at-bats without a homer) has the longest such streak.

Good omen for Royals? This is the 57th World Series to be tied at 1. The winner of Game 2 has gone on to win the Series 29 times (51.8 percent.)

NEXT GAME

The World Series shifts to San Francisco's AT&T Park on Friday for a 7:07 p.m. CT/8:07 ET third game that starts on FOX at 6:30 p.m. CT/7:30 p.m. ET. Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will start against Giants right-hander Tim Hudson.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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MLB.com Columnist

Phil Rogers

Butler hopes to wear crown, stay in Kansas City

Longtime Royal trying to delay thoughts of potential free agency

Butler hopes to wear crown, stay in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY -- Billy Butler doesn't want to go anywhere. He loves being a Royal and would be one forever if it were up to him.

Unfortunately, it's not up to him.

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So the guy they call Country Breakfast, the barbecue sauce baron from the outskirts of Jacksonville, Fla., the guy that Robinson Cano wouldn't pick for the All-Star Game's Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium in 2012, is doing everything he can to bring joy to Royals fans for as long as possible.

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

Omar Infante's two-run homer might have been the signature moment of Kansas City's 7-2 victory in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night, but it wasn't any bigger than two singles by Butler.

Butler's two-out shot to left-center in the first inning tied the score at 1; his single pulled to left off reliever Jean Machi in the sixth inning gave the Royals a 3-2 lead, just ahead of the Salvador Perez double and Infante homer that made it an easy night for Ned Yost's bullpen.

When Butler retreated to the home dugout with pinch-runner Terrance Gore taking his place, the 40,446 fans sang his name into the clear, still Midwestern night. Mike Moustakas and some other teammates coerced the Royals' designated hitter into taking a curtain call.

For a guy who has played all 1,166 career games with this franchise -- a streak only nine active players can top -- it was a moment to file away for permanence in his mental time capsule.

"The fans received me well," Butler said. "It was an exciting time. We were excited. We took the lead and we knew our bullpen was coming in, and what type of bullpen we have."

This was a game that the Royals had to win after Madison Bumgarner shut them down in Tuesday's opener. A loss would have left them needing to take two out of three at AT&T Park to bring the series back to Kauffman Stadium, where Kansas City is 5-1 this postseason.

With the Royals holding an option on Butler's contract at $12.5 million for 2015, there's no guarantee that he'll put on one of those sweet blue-on-white home jerseys again after the World Series. It's a hard reality that Butler can't afford to dwell on, not in the biggest games of his life.

"I think things will work out," Butler said. "They work out however they do after this season. I'm focused on the World Series at this time. This team is counting on me to do my job, and that's in the middle of the lineup, being an impact bat."

Kansas City scored 38 runs in its first six postseason games, as it advanced past the A's, Angels and Orioles. But the last two wins over Baltimore were 2-1 games and Bumgarner gave up only one run on Tuesday. The Royals were hitless in their last 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position when Butler came to the plate against Jake Peavy in the first inning.

Butlerdrilled an 0-1 cutter past shortstop Brandon Crawford and into left field, scoring Lorenzo Cain. It also kept San Francisco from getting too excited about Buster Posey stopping Alcides Escobar on a steal attempt earlier in the inning.

Video: Butler ties game with RBI single

In the sixth inning, Butler lined Machi's third pitch -- a 2-0 fastball -- into left field to again score Cain, this time to break a 2-2 tie and send the crowd into ecstasy.

"He is such a force in our lineup and has been for years," Yost said. "He's a guy that is tremendously intelligent when it comes to hitting. He knows the opposing pitchers as well as anybody, and he's got a great eye at the plate. Any time Billy gets up in those situations, I feel great. I feel like he's going to get the job done, and again, he did it. He came up big for us twice tonight."

Butler entered Wednesday's game hitting .233 in the postseason, with no home runs in his 30 at-bats. But he has been a lot more productive than that, thanks to being 6-for-14 with two sacrifice flies with runners in scoring position. Butler has driven in seven runs, joining Eric Hosmer (.371-2-8), Alex Gordon (.176-1-9) and Moustakas as a key for this balanced lineup, which will largely have to do without him in San Francisco.

Yost and the Royals' front office value run prevention too much to start Butler over Hosmer at first base in games using National League rules.

Video: Butler gives Royals lead

"Having a bat like Billy's on the bench is extremely valuable late in the game," Yost said. "You don't have to start the game to win the game. Billy provides that threat off the bench late in the ballgame that we could use to help us win a game."

When Butler signed his four-year, $30 million contract before the 2011 season, the expectation was that he would develop into a homer-hitting force, even when based at spacious Kauffman Stadium. But he hasn't been able to follow up on a 29-home run season in 2012, hitting only nine this season, while batting .271 with 66 RBIs.

Butler is extremely popular with Kansas City fans. But baseball is a bottom-line business and hanging onto Butler requires some difficult math for a front office that built this team with a $92 million Opening Day payroll.

Video: Butler on the Game 2 win

Butler has made it clear since last winter that there's a deal to be made, if the franchise wants to make one. But the situation has been kept at arm's length, awaiting resolution after the season.

The longer Butler keeps hitting, the longer he keeps wearing his No. 16 jersey. And if he is taking it off for good when the World Series ends, maybe he can replace it with a nice ring and a few more memories to last a lifetime.

"This is all I've ever known," Butler said. "I'm proud to be here, and I'm proud to be a Royal. I always have been."

Phil Rogers is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Selig, MLB grateful for strides in fight vs. ALS

Commissioner presents ice-bucket trophy to Frates family in pregame ceremony

Selig, MLB grateful for strides in fight vs. ALS

KANSAS CITY -- The Ice Bucket Challenge became a worldwide phenomenon this summer, as world leaders, corporations, celebrities and everyday people had ice water dumped over their heads and then nominated others to do the same within 24 hours or donate.

With Game 2 of the 110th World Series between the Giants and Royals, Major League Baseball used its greatest stage to keep the momentum going to help find a cure for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known for generations as Lou Gehrig's disease.

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In an emotional pregame ceremony on Wednesday, Commissioner Bud Selig presented a symbolic silver ice-bucket trophy to the family of Pete Frates. The former Boston College baseball captain was diagnosed with ALS in March 2012 and, along with Pat Quinn, an acquaintance who also suffers from ALS, created the Ice Bucket Challenge, inspiring a movement on social media. The family said it has raised $140 million for the ALS Association and estimated that it has raised some $500 million worldwide for ALS research.

"It has been a creative, galvanizing effort, and we're grateful for its impact on the ALS community," Selig said. "I want all of you to know that because of his leadership and his remarkable courage that baseball is playing tonight's game in honor of Pete and all of those brave ones who fight ALS."

This one's for Frates as he watches the Game 2 broadcast on FOX back home in Boston. Frates' father, John; mother, Nancy; brother, Andrew; and sister, Jennifer were at Kauffman Stadium to accept the trophy on his behalf, and they appeared in an on-field ceremony before the game with MLB chief operating officer and Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, as well as MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre.

"We are a very blessed family," Nancy Frates said. "Pete was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago, and he said that night to our family that we are going to change the face of this disease. And we stand here before you today, and we're very grateful that we've been able to do that.

"Pete has two major loves in his world: His family and baseball. You can ask anyone who knows Pete -- he's at his happiest and at his most joyful when he's with teammates on a baseball field. And tonight it breaks my heart that he's not here with us, but he's here in spirit. He's home watching on TV, and this will bring him such joy, and I can't thank you enough, Commissioner."

The silver ice bucket reads:

PETE FRATES
Not since the legendary Lou Gehrig has anyone inspired a nation to take up the fight against ALS as you have. Major League Baseball extends its deepest gratitude for all you have done to bring awareness to this important cause.

Selig's signature is underneath the inscribed text.

The Frates family asks that fans use the #StrikeoutALS hashtag and visit petefrates.com for the latest news, upcoming events and updates on Pete's progress. You also can donate there to the Pete Frates #3 Fund.

ALS attacks nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to weakness and eventual paralysis of all voluntary muscles, including those used for breathing and swallowing. There is no cure or effective treatment for ALS, and an estimated 30,000 people in the U.S. have the disease.

MLB is dedicating the first four games of this World Series to important community causes and charities involving its partners. Game 1 was dedicated to veterans and military families; Game 2 is education and ALS awareness; Game 3 is Stand Up To Cancer and the fight to end cancer in our lifetimes; and Game 4 is youth outreach.

In addition to honoring Frates and keeping the Ice Bucket Challenge movement going, MLB is devoting its Game 2 backdrop to the 75th anniversary of Gehrig's iconic "Luckiest Man" speech. On July 4, MLB commemorated that anniversary with in-park tributes and a $300,000 donation split among the organizations that are leading the fight against ALS: ALS Association, ALS Therapy Development Institute [ALS TDI], Muscular Dystrophy Association [MDA] and Project ALS.

On Aug. 20, 167 staffers at the Commissioner's Office in New York took the Ice Bucket Challenge, led by Manfred and Torre. Manfred challenged MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network, and both units showed up in large numbers. MLB made a donation of $100 for each employee who took the challenge at those three events, and the final tally was $73,700. That doesn't include the donations from all 30 MLB clubs.

"Many of our clubs and players participate in our office at Major League Baseball, while countless others around the world also did the challenge," Selig said. "More than 165 employees of my office took part in August, and then hundreds more from all across [the] Major League Baseball family followed suit."

Selig provided a lighthearted moment in the news conference by noting his own absence from the Ice Bucket Challenge: "Pete invited our office to participate, and Rob Manfred gladly obliged. You'll note with some interest that I did not."

"The amazing, stupendous, marvelous Ice Bucket Challenge that social media, this campaign waged against ALS and for ALS, is really nothing short of miraculous," John Frates said. "For us to be sitting here tonight, where the Commissioner himself mentions our son's name, and says that Pete has the opportunity to participate in a huge way in the Major Leagues, his dream, is just absolutely miraculous.

"The Commissioner mentioned he met Pete the other day [on the final day of the regular season at Fenway Park], and that is so true. I asked Pete what happened, and Pete no longer speaks, so he has to text us. And what he did tell us is he was invited to this game, and he, unfortunately, isn't able to travel. But I said, What else happened? What else did the Commissioner say?' He said, 'Well, you're going to have to read my book.'"

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Strickland-Perez spat chalked up to misunderstanding

Giants, Royals don't expect any carryover as World Series heads to San Francisco

Strickland-Perez spat chalked up to misunderstanding

KANSAS CITY -- Omar Infante hit a home run, Hunter Strickland started yelling in English, Salvador Perez yelled back in Spanish and both dugouts momentarily emptied, bracing for a skirmish that never occurred.

After Wednesday night's game -- a 7-2 win by the Royals that evened the World Series at a game apiece -- everyone was still confused.

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  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
"He looked at me," Perez said of Strickland, and that's pretty much all he was certain about. "I was like, 'Why did you look at me? Omar hit a homer. Look at Omar.'"

Infante's two-run homer was the backbreaker in Game 2. It followed Perez's two-run double off Strickland and capped the five-run sixth inning that put the Royals ahead for good. Then Strickland started barking as Perez approached home plate, perhaps involuntarily setting an edgy tone for the rest of this series.

Perez looked stunned, pointing two fingers at his eyes, tapping on his chest and asking the Giants' rookie reliever why he was yelling in his direction.

Strickland attests he was merely upset at himself, and that it had nothing to do with Perez trotting slowly around the bases.

"I didn't notice that," Strickland said. "I was more frustrated at not executing my pitches. It was miscommunication. My emotions just got the best of me. I'm not too proud of that, but it is what it is. I can't take it back."

Strickland, the fourth of five pitchers used by Giants manager Bruce Bochy in the bottom of the sixth, entered with a one-run deficit, two on and one out. After a wild pitch put runners on second and third, Perez laced the next offering, a fastball, into the left-center-field gap to plate two runs.

Video: Giants, Royals on exchanging words in the sixth

That's when it started -- at least for Perez.

"After I hit the double, he started looking at me on second base," Perez said. "I just wanted to, you know, forget about that. We're winning the game in that moment, you know?"

Two pitches later, Infante turned on Strickland's 98-mph fastball and sent it into the Royals' bullpen beyond the left-field fence. As Perez crossed home plate, Strickland started jawing in that direction and Perez was confused.

"He was telling me, 'Get out of here,' whatever," Perez said. "I don't know. You don't have to treat me like that."

So Perez yelled back, just as Infante was crossing home plate.

"Salvy, relax," Infante said he told his teammate. "I hit a home run."

Video: Perez discusses the confrontation

Several Royals players were ready to get Perez's back.

"All day," center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "That's your brother."

Video: Cain on Strickland-Perez incident

But order was restored briefly after players emerged from both dugouts, leaving enough time for only three Royals relievers to spill out of the bullpen, and Strickland was promptly removed from the game by Bochy, ushered to the dugout by home-plate umpire Eric Cooper to prevent any further theatrics.

Perez doesn't expect any carryover as this seven-game Series shifts to AT&T Park for the next three.

"I think it's part of the game," he said. "We forget about that, and we'll see them Friday in San Francisco."

Asked what set him off, Strickland said: "The fifth home run I've given up this postseason."

Video: Bochy on Strickland, Lincecum injury

Strickland notched nine scoreless outings after joining the Giants as a September callup, exhibiting the electric stuff that was making him look like a future closer. But he's been charged with six earned runs, and those five homers, in 5 1/3 innings in the postseason.

Asked what he was yelling at himself, Strickland said: "Honestly, I don't even remember. I was too caught up in the moment."

A similar moment occurred in the National League Division Series, between Strickland and boisterous Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.

The 26-year-old right-hander stared down Harper after he homered off him in Game 1 and took his time running around the bases. When Harper homered off Strickland again in Game 4, it was Harper who shot several stares in Strickland's direction, both as he rounded the bases and as he celebrated in the dugout.

Video: Harper homers off Strickland in NLDS

San Francisco reliever Jeremy Affeldt, one of the veteran leaders on this Giants team, plans to talk to Strickland about all of it soon enough.

"This is going to make him better in the long run," Affeldt said. "That's what we want him to understand. This is going to make him better. He has the mentality to handle it, and then we're going to chat about it."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Five things we learned from pivotal sixth inning

Five things we learned from pivotal sixth inning

KANSAS CITY -- By the time the sixth inning was over, Kelvin Herrera had thrown a 101-mph sinker, Billy Butler had given a curtain call after a single, the benches had cleared, Omar Infante had gone deep and four Giants relievers had been summoned, all pretty much in vain.

So yeah, the sixth inning was a bit wild Wednesday night. And oh yeah, it was the inning that decided Game 2 of this World Series in favor of the Royals, who went on to a 7-2 win in front of a raucous Kauffman Stadium crowd to salvage a home split.

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  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

Here are the five key takeaways from the sixth:

1. Ned Yost's sense of urgency
Three weeks ago, even though his Royals had won the American League Wild Card Game against the A's, Yost was getting crushed on radio and television and in print for putting starter Yordano Ventura in as a reliever in a key sixth-inning spot, and then explaining his reluctance to go to Herrera in that situation because Herrera was his "seventh-inning guy."

Clearly, Yost's thinking on this matter has evolved over the course of the postseason, because at a time when this game was tied at 2, and Ventura was showing signs of fatigue, Yost didn't hesitate to bring Herrera in with one out in the sixth.

"My concern innings, if you will, before the game, are the fifth and the sixth innings," Yost said, "if I've got to mix and match that."

The upcoming off-day in this series made using Herrera in that spot a worthwhile gamble, and to say it paid off would be an understatement. To say Herrera's stuff was electric would be an even bigger understatement. He retired the first batter he faced -- Brandon Belt -- on that aforementioned 101-mph two-seamer, a pitch that ought to be outlawed. Herrera then got Michael Morse to ground into an inning-ending fielder's choice.

Video: Yost on bullpen

Herrera was efficient enough with those two outs that he was able to finish the seventh, pitching around walks to Brandon Crawford and Gregor Blanco. And by then, he was protecting a big lead, because of what transpired in a crazy bottom of the sixth.

2. Bruce Bochy sticks with his starter
On the surface, Jake Peavy had settled in by the time the sixth inning started. Yes, he had given up a run in the first and another in the second, with hard-hit balls and traffic galore. But he had retired 10 in a row entering the sixth, and his pitch count was at just 57.

"You're going to take me out when I've retired 10 straight? I don't know," Peavy would say later. "I would have been upset if he didn't let me in a tie game."

The flip side of the discussion is that Peavy still wasn't missing many bats, and this contact-oriented Royals squad can pounce in that sort of situation. Opposing lineups had a .933 OPS against Peavy the third time through the order this season. Still, Bochy not only trusted Peavy to start the sixth, but he hung with him after Lorenzo Cain opened the inning with a bloop single to bring up the left-handed-hitting Eric Hosmer. Bochy had two lefties in his 'pen -- Javier Lopez and Jeremy Affeldt -- but he hung with Peavy, with no second thoughts after the fact.

"Jake settled in," Bochy said. "The first two innings, he was a little erratic, but he was right on. I mean, he really was throwing the ball well. So, no, I can't say I was going to make a change there because he gave up a bloop hit. I was going to let him face [Hosmer]."

Hosmer, though, drew a walk after working the count full, which turned out to be a major development in the inning. With two on, Bochy turned to his bullpen, making the somewhat questionable decision to turn to Jean Machi, who had a 7.71 ERA in four previous appearances this postseason.

3. The #BillyBuntler movement dies a quick death
You want a window into how crazy the postseason can be? There was a moment in the sixth inning when a perfectly sane human being might think it would be a good idea to have Butler bunt.

Butler, for the record, has exactly zero sac bunts in his career. But when he came to the plate there with two on and none out, it was actually fair to wonder whether the Royals, who have put down seven sacrifices in their postseason run, might pull some sacrifice shenanigans. The hashtag #BillyBuntler occurred in many a Twitter feed.

In reality, while Yost was convinced that the next run would be the winning run, the thought of having Butler bunt against Machi to put the Royals in better position for that run did not even register.

"Never," the manager said. "Never, never, never. The thought that came to my mind was maybe a hit-and-run, but with no outs, I wasn't going to do that."

So Butler was, understandably, free to swing away. And he swung the Royals into the lead to culminate a great at-bat. He got ahead 2-0, then sought and found an elevated fastball that he smacked into left field, driving in the go-ahead run.

"I knew when I got 2-0, that first and second, nobody out, the last thing he wants to do is put another guy on there to load the bases up with nobody out," Butler said. "So I knew he was going to attack me with a fastball. I was just looking for it up in the zone, and [I] got a good pitch to hit."

Cain streaked home from second in what was a great send on the part of third-base coach Mike Jirschele, who knew that Travis Ishikawa had the baseball but not the arm to make a play at the plate happen. It was 3-2, Royals. And when Butler was lifted for pinch-runner Terrance Gore * and retreated to the dugout, the raging crowd chanted Butler's name and urged him to come back for one final tip of the cap before this Series shifts to San Francisco and he becomes a pinch-hitter extraordinaire.

"It was one of those things where your teammates tell you to do it, you're going to get out there," Butler said. "And the fans received me well. It was an exciting time."

Video: Butler discusses curtain call

(* An underrated element of this inning was Yost's decision to remove Butler's bat in that moment in favor of the speedy Gore, even with a runner ahead of Gore at second. It was a risky move, but it wound up working.)

4. Bochy's matchups were mismatches
The inning quickly became Tony La Russa-like from there. Despite a hesitance to burn Lopez against Hosmer, Bochy pulled the trigger on that move with Alex Gordon coming to the plate. And that worked. Gordon flied out.

But the same can't be said for Bochy's next decision. Throughout October, he has shown a lot of faith in hard-throwing right-hander Hunter Strickland, and little of it has proven justified. Strickland had already given up four postseason home runs before he was summoned in the sixth, but the Giants were encouraged by what they saw from him -- in terms of command and secondary stuff -- when he closed out Game 1 with a perfect ninth.

Of course, pitching with a 7-1 lead is a lot different than pitching with a 3-2 deficit and two aboard. Strickland was not ready for prime time. First, he threw a wild pitch to Salvador Perez, and that allowed Gore and Hosmer to advance to second and third, respectively.

And then the dagger. Perez punched a 97-mph four-seamer to center to bring both runners home (Gore is so darn fast, he probably could have scored from first on the play) and make it 5-2.

Now truly rattled, Strickland let the inning get completely get away from him. He threw a first-pitch ball to Infante, then hung another four-seamer that Infante lined over the left-field wall. It was now 7-2. And against this Royals bullpen, that's a ginormous lead.

"I think the one mistake was probably to Infante there," Giants catcher Buster Posey said. "The ball just ran back, middle in."

5. Tempers flare
The game was essentially over, but the drama was just beginning. Whatever happened, exactly, between Perez and Strickland remains a bit murky, and maybe it all came down to miscommunication. But Strickland seemed to take issue with Perez's casual stroll home, and Perez seemed to take issue with Strickland's general disposition.

Video: Giants, Royals on exchange

"After I hit the double, he started looking at me on second base," Perez said. "So I just wanted to, you know, forget about that. ... So after Omar hit the bomb, and I get close to home plate, he started to look at me, so I asked him like, 'Hey, why you look at me?' So he was telling me, 'Get out of here, whatever.' So I don't know. You don't have to treat me like that. Look at Omar. Omar hit a bomb."

Both benches cleared, and suddenly this Series was spiked with animosity. But Strickland downplayed it all after the fact.

"I was more frustrated at not executing my pitches," Strickland said. "It was miscommunication. My emotions just got the best of me. I'm not too proud of that, but it is what it is. I can't take it back."

Nor can he take back his fifth postseason homer allowed. And by the time Bochy made his fourth and final call to the 'pen in the decisive sixth, it was too late to salvage Game 2.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Royals' Davis, Holland put tight seal on Game 2

Dominant relievers make quick work of Giants with five-run lead

Royals' Davis, Holland put tight seal on Game 2

KANSAS CITY -- The service Royals manager Ned Yost required of Wade Davis and Greg Holland in Game 2 of the World Series differed a bit from what he usually asks of baseball's best eighth-ninth inning combination.

Instead of inserting the duo into a tight ballgame, like usual, Yost called upon his fearsome setup man and closer with Kansas City holding a five-run lead. Holland and Davis closed the game out in predictable fashion, making a mockery of the final two frames and easing Kansas City to a comfortable, 7-2 victory over the Giants at Kauffman Stadium.

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"When you get in that situation, and you've got an off-day tomorrow, you're not giving [San Francisco] any opportunity to get back in that game," Yost said. "At least I'm not."

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

Holland and Davis twirled scoreless frames, combining for five strikeouts. The Giants never came close to threatening the indomitable relievers.

"When we're confident with one [run], and you give those guys five, it's an uphill battle for anybody trying to come back against them," said third baseman Mike Moustakas.

Center fielder Jarrod Dyson concurred on the almost unfair advantage his team has when Davis and Holland work with a sizable lead.

"That's game time, man," Dyson said.

Lorenzo Cain made that cushion possible by starting a five-run sixth inning with a leadoff single. The Royals went from being tied to leading, 7-2, after the sixth.

"We definitely would rather put them in that situation with a five-run lead or a four-run lead instead of a one-run lead," Cain said. "But we feel like they can get the job done in either situation."

And they have, both in the regular season and postseason.

Davis and Holland combined for a 1.21 ERA and 199 strikeouts in 134 1/3 innings during the regular season. Kansas City finished 72-1 when ahead entering the eighth inning, and 79-1 when ahead entering the ninth.

Video: Yost on the luxury of his bullpen

Along with some help from their fellow relievers, the bullpen has been even better in the postseason.

After blank frames from Davis and Holland and a clean 1 2/3 innings by Kelvin Herrera, the Royals' bullpen decreased its ERA to 1.81 this postseason. Between Herrera, Davis and Holland, it sinks to 0.92.

Holland, who was named the Mariano Rivera Reliever of the Year prior to the game, credited Herrera and Davis for simplifying his closer responsibilities.

"They make my job easier, because if we've got a two-run lead in the sixth, we're going to have a two-run lead in the ninth usually," Holland said. "They've gotten big out after big out after big out. Situation doesn't seem to faze them. It seems like it makes them better."

Video: Holland talks about Game 2 win

Compared to Wednesday, most of the bullpen's previous postseason appearances came in high-leverage situations, as evidenced by the unit's seven victories (of nine total team wins), thus far. The Royals' relief unit is tied with the 2003 Marlins for the most bullpen victories by one team in a single postseason.

The sublime group benefits from a day off Thursday, setting up a gauntlet of relievers primed to contribute to Game 3 in San Francisco on Friday.

"These guys stayed sharp all year for us," Dyson said. "I'm sure they're going to continue it through this postseason."

Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Lincecum emerged from mist before exiting with injury

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Lincecum emerged from mist before exiting with injury

Like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible or the Olsen Twins in any of their '90s straight-to-video releases, Tim Lincecum has been a lot of places and tried out a lot of looks. 

Like a fresh-faced do-gooder:

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MLB.TV streaming World Series for first time

MLB.TV streaming World Series for first time

KANSAS CITY -- Tuesday's 7-1 Giants victory over the Royals in Game 1 was the first live stream of a World Series game in the U.S., representing a milestone in Major League Baseball broadcast delivery and allowing fans to watch on the go with an MLB.TV subscription.

Each Giants-Royals game televised by FOX in the 110th Fall Classic is also available live online and via mobile to existing MLB.TV subscribers at no additional cost, and for those who want to get in on the action, at just $9.99 with no blackout restrictions.

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To be part of history in this one, join the masses who subscribe to the Internet's longest-running and No. 1 sports streaming product and then complete a one-time authentication with your participating TV provider. FOX's telecast of this summer's All-Star Game was also streamed live for the first time.

This offer includes more than 200 live Spring Training games, as the first month of MLB.TV, a $24.99 value, comes for free in 2015.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Statcast: Pence slips, but still beats Escobar's throw

Statcast: Pence slips, but still beats Escobar's throw

At times this season, the Royals have made it look like they can pull off just about any play in the field, no matter the difficulty.

When the Giants' Hunter Pence hit a ground ball into the hole between third base and shortstop in the sixth inning on Wednesday night, it provided another highlight-reel opportunity in Game 2 of the World Series. But as Statcast tracking technology shows, the numbers were working against Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar.

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With the score knotted, 2-2, in an eventual 7-2 Royals win, the Giants had Buster Posey on first with one out when Pence hit the grounder off Yordano Ventura. Escobar had to range about 36 feet to his right to reach the ball near the outfield grass. Under normal circumstances, Escobar would have had no chance at throwing out Pence at first base, but Pence slipped coming out of the batter's box. With his momentum continuing toward the third-base line, Escobar tried a jump throw to first but couldn't get much on it. Pence, hustling at a maximum of 21.1 mph, was able to beat the throw with room to spare.

Video: Pence legs out an infield single

More from Game 2 of the World Series

Escobar caught stealing
The Royals tied the game with a run in the bottom of the first inning, but they could have done more damage, if not for a strong play by Posey and Joe Panik. With one out, Kansas City had a stolen-base threat at first base in Alcides Escobar, who was successful on 31 of 37 stolen-base attempts during the regular season and was 1-for-1 in the playoffs. With Lorenzo Cain at the plate against Jake Peavy, Escobar took a 12-foot lead and bolted for second, reaching 19.5 mph. Posey snatched the inside pitch and fired a one-hop throw to second, which Panik smoothly scooped before getting the tag down on Escobar, just in time.

Video: Escobar caught stealing

Cain doubles, scores on Butler's single
With Escobar erased, the Royals had the bases empty with two outs but didn't let Peavy off the hook. First, Cain lashed a 318-foot line drive to left-center field that dropped out of the reach of diving left fielder Travis Ishikawa, a converted first baseman. Center fielder Gregor Blanco backed up the play and made a strong throw to second base, but Cain motored around first at a top speed of 20.2 mph and slid in safely at second. After Eric Hosmer walked, Billy Butler followed with a ground ball that sneaked past diving shortstop Brandon Crawford and into left-center. Cain again reached 20.2 mph as he flew home with the tying run, making it easily.

Video: Cain doubles, scores on Butler's single

Cain scores go-ahead run
The Royals broke open a 2-2 tie with a five-run sixth inning that evened the series at a game apiece. Once again it was Butler with the big hit, a line drive to left field off reliever Jean Machi, with Cain at second and Hosmer at first. The ball was hit hard at Ishikawa, but with his inexperience and Cain's speed, third-base coach Mike Jirschele waved the runner home. Cain, just a tiny tick slower this time at a still-blazing 20.1 mph, raced around and slid in without a play. The Royals led 3-2 and didn't look back.

Video: Cain scores go-ahead run

Statcast highlights from earlier in the postseason

World Series Game 1: Royals' slick relay throw
With runners on first and third and one out in the first inning, Pablo Sandoval smoked a James Shields breaking ball into Kauffman Stadium's right-field corner. Gregor Blanco scored easily from second. Buster Posey, stationed at first, took an initial nine-foot lead and extended it to 14 feet at contact. Traveling at a top speed of 18.4 mph, Posey got the wave toward home, but the risk didn't pay off, as Royals right fielder Nori Aoki deftly played the carom off the wall and zipped a throw to cutoff man Omar Infante, who fired to the plate. The throw got to catcher Salvador Perez with Posey still a few steps from home, giving Perez time to easily slap a tag on Posey's leg as he came in standing.

Statcast: Royals' relay cuts down Posey

NLCS Game 5: Deflected grounder helps Giants
With two outs and two on in the top of the ninth, the Cardinals' Kolten Wong hit a smash to the left side of the infield. It looked like the ball would get through and score pinch-runner Daniel Descalso from second, but Giants third baseman Sandoval managed to get the tip of his glove on the ball. It took a favorable Giants hop, though, as shortstop Crawford raced over to backhand it and quickly flipped to second base for a crucial out. Crawford traveled 24.7 feet on the play, ultimately being in the exact right place at the right time. Crawford's quick reactions helped him narrowly throw out Randal Grichuk at second, despite Grichuk having expanded his secondary lead to 13 feet off first base prior to the hit and reaching a maximum speed of 19.1 mph during it.

Statcast: Crawford makes a play on deflection

ALCS Game 4: Gordon goes off the wall
With the Royals holding a one-run lead in the fifth inning, the Orioles' J.J. Hardy turned on an inside pitch from Jason Vargas and walloped it to left field. Kauffman Stadium held its collective breath as the ball sailed, according to the Statcast, precisely 374.4 feet. That wasn't enough to clear Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, who raced back to the wall, reaching a top speed of 16.7 mph. The ball smacked into Gordon's glove just before he smacked into the screen-covered scoreboard, and he held on as he fell backward to the dirt, holding his glove up to show he made the catch.

Statcast: Gordon tracks one down at the wall

ALCS Games 1 and 2: Dyson gets caught ... twice
Counting the postseason, Jarrod Dyson entered this series 121-for-141 (85.8 percent) as a basestealer in his career, including 71-for-84 (84.5 percent) over the past two seasons. Yet he started the ALCS 0-for-2 against Baltimore, marking only the second time he was been caught in consecutive games. In Game 1, Dyson took his first step in 0.27 seconds and accelerated to a top speed of 20.1 mph in 2.2 seconds. He slid in ahead of a 70.1-mph throw from catcher Nick Hundley, but second baseman Jonathan Schoop kept his tag on Dyson's left leg as it came off the bag, possibly applying the pressure that made Dyson's leg stray.

No such tactic was necessary in Game 2, with Caleb Joseph catching lefty Andrew Miller. This time, Dyson reached a higher top speed (22.3 mph), but the pitch was high, giving Joseph a good opportunity to throw. Joseph, who threw out 40 percent of attempted basestealers during the regular season, made a perfect throw to shortstop Hardy, on the first-base side of the bag. Hardy put the tag down on Dyson's left shoulder just before he reached the base.

Statcast: Orioles catchers slow down Dyson

ALCS Game 2: Cain sprints, lays out to rob Hardy
Cain tormented the Orioles defensively. Hardy led off the sixth inning with a drive that traveled about 350 feet into the right-center-field gap off Yordano Ventura. It looked like an extra-base hit off the bat, but Cain had other ideas. From his position in center, he took his first step toward the ball in less than a quarter of a second, accelerating to a maximum speed of 21.2 mph in 3.74 seconds. But to make the play, Cain needed more than pure speed. Statcast measured his route efficiency at 99.7 percent, meaning he traversed a nearly optimal path from his original location to the spot where he dove to snag Hardy's shot. That allowed his long strides to cover 82 feet of outfield in only 3.65 seconds.

Statcast: Cain makes an amazing catch

ALCS Game 1: Hundley's crazy scoop
With the game tied at 5 in top of the ninth, Orioles reliever Zach Britton walked the first three batters he faced, but then got bailed out when the Royals' Eric Hosmer hit a weak grounder to first base. Alcides Escobar, the runner on third, had a secondary lead of 13 feet, 9 inches, but got an understandably slow start, as he wanted to be conservative with no one out. (He ultimately reached a top speed of 20.3 mph, which is impressive.) First baseman Steve Pearce charged Hosmer's grounder and made a clean scoop, but his throw came in low, and it took an incredible scoop by catcher Hundley to record the out, with the ball beating Escobar by just .17 seconds.

Statcast: Pearce, Hundley team up to keep it tied

Andrew Simon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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New WS gear player tested, fan approved

Wear the same hoodies, T-shirts and caps as the Royals and Giants

New WS gear player tested, fan approved

KANSAS CITY -- Welcome to the 110th World Series. Fitting for a first-of-its-kind Fall Classic matchup, there is a fresh and must-have look being modeled by the players themselves on the field for Workout Day at Kauffman Stadium, and now it can be yours.

Orders for the new line of Royal oKCtober and Orange October apparel are underway exclusively at the MLB.com Shop and at the Royals Majestic Team Store and Giants Dugout Store, respectively.

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When Game 1 gets started on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. ET on FOX, the Royals will make their first World Series appearance since 1985. Celebrate with the "Royal oKCtober" On-Field 59FIFTY cap from New Era, the same one Royals players will wear for on-field workouts. It features the distinctive, long "KC" script within the wording.

Most of the Royals said the "Royal oKCtober" slogan on their workout gear symbolized the essence of their brand of baseball.

Royals on their "Royal oKCtober" gear

"We're playing in the World Series, that's what it means," third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "Biggest stage in baseball, it's going to be awesome. The gear is awesome. It's comfortable, I'm stoked, I'm wearing it. I'll give some of the stuff away to my parents, let them hang on to it, but it's going to be fun."

"It just means everyone's enjoying this," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "It's all great gear. Anytime you get something new in your locker, it's fun to see what it is. Anything that says postseason or World Series, it doesn't matter what it looks like. It's going to look good on anybody."

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

Outfielder Jarrod Dyson broke out the Royal oKCtober 2Tone Stripe Pom Cuff Knit Cap from New Era, to go along with the fleece. "I rock it all. I'm a fashion guy, and I like looking nice," he said.

Then he replaced the knit cap with the 59FIFTY for batting practice.

"It means a lot to be able to wear this in October. And [to still be] wearing it right now? Going to the World Series? Man, I need to collect more of this gear right now," Dyson said. "Who knows if I'll have it on again ever again? You never know in this career, so you have to take advantage of where you're at right now in your lifetime."

Speaking through an interpreter before taking the field, Royals right fielder Nori Aoki looked down at the wording on his own Royal oKCtober quarter-zip hooded fleece and said: "It's a special meaning. Just being able to play baseball in October, that's what all baseball players play for."

The Giants are taking aim at their third World Series title in five years, and there is some fresh gear just for the occasion. Order the Orange October quarter-zip hooded fleece right now and get ready for the weekend action at AT&T Park, starting with Game 3 on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.

Giants catcher Buster Posey sat behind his table at the interview session late in the afternoon and marveled at that same orange hood that teammate Travis Ishikawa -- hero of the National League Championship Series clincher -- was modeling at the table to his right.

"When I see a sweatshirt like that, I think about fans," Posey said, between answers about Madison Bumgarner's success and trying to contain Kansas City on the basepaths. "It makes me proud that I get to play at AT&T Park. Those fans come out strong all year, so it's exciting to us to get to play at this time of the year at AT&T Park."

Giants talk about their "Orange October" gear

"They keep changing it up and it never really gets old, getting all the World Series gear," shortstop Brandon Crawford added. "It's always fun to be back here. We definitely have some postseason experience, and the same core group of players have been here for a lot of postseason games. We'll see if it's any kind of advantage. [The Royals] are playing real well right now. They're going to have something to prove also."

Outfielder Gregor Blanco was wearing that same orange hood in the interview session and said it was "a dream come true" when he saw the new gear in his locker.

"To be able to see a World Series in 2014, and all the stuff we have from the World Series -- the hat, the field with the logo -- that's a dream come true for everybody," Blanco said. "To me, 'Orange October' really means the blood, like our faith in the orange and black, you know? Our faith in our team. Instead of red blood, we should have orange, because we really believe in each other and we give everything to the team."

Major League Baseball's line of World Series merchandise is also available right now, including the Women's Half-Zip Wind Jacket from Nike Golf and the Always World Series Hooded Fleece from Majestic Athletic.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Here's how K.C. evened the World Series at 1-1

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Here's how K.C. evened the World Series at 1-1

With their championship pursuit at a critical juncture -- trailing the Giants, 1-0, entering Game 2 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium -- the Royals put their hopes on a 23-year-old rookie Wednesday night. Right-hander Yordano Ventura, whose fastball reaches triple digits, became the first rookie pitcher to start a World Series game for Kansas City.

Getting the ball for San Francisco was a righty who can only dream of that velocity. Jake Peavy made his second career Fall Classic appearance four days shy of the anniversary of his first one, a two-run, four-inning effort against the Cardinals on Oct. 26, 2013.

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MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Royals reintroduce themselves to rabid crowd

Playoff-hungry fans delighted by KC winning brand of baseball, rebounding from quiet Game 1

Royals reintroduce themselves to rabid crowd

KANSAS CITY -- At the end, they roared with every single pitch. They stood, too, screaming and pleading and cheering. You could feel how badly they wanted it. Some of these fans had waited 29 years for a moment like this one. So they held nothing back as the Royals won Game 2 of the 2014 World Series, beating the Giants, 7-2, on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

There aren't that many times when a city is completely invested in a professional sports team. When it happens, players and fans alike remember it forever, how they counted down the hours to game time, how for a brief time the games themselves seemed to be the most important thing on Earth. That's what's happening around Kansas City these days. In the coffee shops and bars and restaurants, they're talking Royals. They're nervous and they're excited, and they're having the time of their lives.

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  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
"It's crazy out there, man," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Our fans were just rabid. They were into the game from the first pitch. You look up there, and I think there's half the crowd that doesn't sit down for the entire game. I don't know how they keep their energy going, but they sure do. It's a fun atmosphere."

The Giants took control of Game 1 on Tuesday night so quickly that the fans who'd wanted something like this so badly never really had a chance to get fully into it. So for the Royals, this World Series felt like it really began on Wednesday.

"It's a fresh start for us now," first baseman Eric Hosmer said. "It's a new series. "

OK, it may not exactly be a new World Series, but it's at least tied at a game apiece as it heads to San Francisco for the next three games. Game 3 is Friday (6:30 p.m. CT airtime on FOX, 7:07 first pitch.)

This was the game in which the real Royals introduced themselves to the Giants. They rolled out four pitchers all throwing at least 95 mph. They played a solid defensive game. And they broke the whole thing open in the sixth inning by scoring five runs. Afterward, the Royals stuck to a couple of themes. They hadn't been panicked after losing Game 1. They've won enough this season to be past self-doubt. And they fed off the noise and energy of 40,446.

"There was a time later on in the game when I kind of looked around and saw everybody standing," Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "It was just amazing."

When the Royals are at their best, they play the best defense in all of baseball. And they have three overpowering relievers -- Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland -- who force the opponents to do things they wouldn't normally do. They do this because the Royals believe that when they have a lead after six innings, those relievers will take care of the rest.

Video: Yost on bullpen

"After the sixth inning, my thinking is done," Yost said. "It's a huge luxury for me."

Game 2 was tied at 2 entering the sixth inning, and when Giants starter Jake Peavy allowed a couple of baserunners, his manager, Bruce Bochy, played it like he needed a shutdown inning. Yost felt that way, too.

"I felt really strongly that whoever scored that third run was probably going to win the game," Yost said.

Billy Butler's RBI single made it a 3-2 game, and with Yost having already given way to Herrera to get the final two outs of the top of the sixth inning, the Royals had the rest of the game mapped out. They went on to score five runs in the sixth, and the Giants got just one more runner into scoring position the rest of the way.

"We showed them that we have fight in us," Butler said, "and I think they knew that already. But we stepped up big there as a team, and that gave us some confidence in that clubhouse. You never know how guys are going to respond to that, losing in the World Series."

Video: Butler on Game 2 win

The Royals have done a really good imitation of being baseball's best team for a couple of weeks now, and perhaps that's the larger story of Game 2. The Royals looked like themselves.

"I don't think we put too much stock in it being a must-win [game] or anything like that," Holland said. "That's the reason we're here. We don't get too high or too low. We lost one game. We just knew we had to come out and play a good solid baseball game. It's just the mindset of this ball team. You're never out of it until the last out's made. You forget about it."

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Panda extends streak, but he'd rather have a win

Panda extends streak, but he'd rather have a win

KANSAS CITY -- When Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval doubled to lead off the fourth inning of Wednesday night's 7-2 loss to the Royals in Game 2 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium, he extended his postseason streak of reaching base safely to 25 games.

That streak ties him with Boog Powell for the third longest in history. Powell put together his streak as a member of the Baltimore Orioles from 1966 to '71. Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers is the leader at 31, set from 2011 to '13. Chase Utley had 27 straight for the Phillies from 2007 to '09.

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Although Sandoval is proud of the streak, it is meaningless to him because of Wednesday night's result.

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
"I don't even want to talk about the streak. I don't want to talk about me," Sandoval said. "Even if I go 4-for-4, it means nothing if we don't win."

Sandoval, who will become a free agent when the World Series ends, is a player for the ages in the postseason. He's a .326 hitter with six homers, 18 RBIs, 12 doubles and 17 runs in 34 postseason games, all with the Giants in 2010, '12 and '14.

In the World Series, Sandoval's batting average jumps to .393. He tied a record in Game 1 of the 2012 Fall Classic, against Detroit, by hitting three homers in a single game, the first two off Justin Verlander. The record is jointly held by the man lovingly called "Panda," Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols. Sandoval hit .500 in the sweep of the Tigers and was voted MVP of that World Series.

This year, Sandoval is off to another good start, batting .333 over the first two games, this after batting .400 during the Giants' five-game victory over the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series.

"He's a great player," manager Bruce Bochy said earlier in the postseason. "He's done a great job at third base, and he's a guy we lean on to give us some offense. He's a gifted player and a gifted hitter."

And this is obviously Sandoval's time of year.

"I just work on all my things and practice in the cage. I just try to do the best that I can," Sandoval said. "Game time's different, you speed it up a little bit more. I just try to do my job, manage the pressure out there and take the pressure off."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Herrera nails down KC's first Series win since '85

Electric reliever gets five key outs in Game 2 as Royals even Fall Classic

Herrera nails down KC's first Series win since '85

KANSAS CITY -- Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera pours through video of his appearances after every game, looking for any flaws in his mechanics, trying to pick out tendencies from his opponents and hardly ever glancing at the radar gun. He did it again late Wednesday night, after the 7-2 win that evened this World Series at a game apiece, only this time he couldn't help but notice that radar gun was flashing triple-digits even more frequently than usual.

Afterward, he was told that 14 of his 32 pitches hit 100 mph, a single-game career-high for the electric right-hander, and Herrera couldn't believe it.

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  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
"Fourteen times?!" he exclaimed in Spanish. "Today?! I didn't count them. Oh, wow. Now I feel even stronger."

Maybe it was the six-day layoff between appearances. Maybe it was the magnitude of the situation he entered, with two on and one out in the sixth inning of a tied game. Whatever the reason, Herrera was in prime form, getting out of the sixth unscathed, recording five outs and becoming the pitcher of record in the Royals' first World Series victory in 29 years.

"He's been one of the best in the game, especially coming in with runners on in those situations," said Wade Davis, one of Herrera's mentors in the bullpen. "He always seems to step up to the occasion."

Royals manager Ned Yost went to the first member of his vaunted bullpen trio early on Wednesday, because neither Herrera, Davis nor closer Greg Holland were used in Tuesday's Game 1 and an off-day will follow on Thursday. That meant Herrera would come in with one out in the sixth, after Yordano Ventura put runners on first and second, to try to get out of the jam and keep Game 2 knotted at 2.

Herrera got Brandon Belt to fly out to left field and forced Michael Morse into a fielder's choice. In the bottom half of the inning, the Royals plated five runs -- on a Billy Butler RBI single, a Salvador Perez two-run double and an Omar Infante two-run homer -- and perhaps none of it occurs if not for Herrera's escape act.

"That was big," Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar said. "He's been doing that kind of thing all year. We get in a little trouble, and he gets us out of it."

Video: Yost talks about using his three big arms

Herrera said he "came in to get a double play or a shallow fly ball, something like that, because I don't want that run to score and for us to lose."

It looked like he was trying to strike everybody out.

Three of his five pitches to Belt were 101 mph, a fourth was 100 and the changeup -- identified by pitch F/X as a fastball, and can you blame it? -- came in at 92 mph. Then all four of his pitches to Morse were clocked in the triple digits.

"It's not easy to hit his pitches," Escobar said. "He has great control. We were in a bit of trouble and he solved it."

Herrera sat around for a while in the bottom of the sixth, as the Royals scored five runs, the Giants went through five pitchers and an on-field skirmish nearly ensued. It showed in the seventh, when the 24-year-old issued back-to-back one-out walks on 10 pitches. Yost felt Herrera "lost his [arm] slot" after facing the first batter.

"But he battled and got it back," Yost said, "and he got us through that inning."

Herrera retired the next two batters, on a blooper and a groundout, and handed a five-run lead safely to Davis and Holland. After posting a 1.41 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in the regular season, Herrera has pitched 10 innings of one-run ball in the playoffs, striking out 11 and walking four.

He saved his most impressive outing for the World Series.

"I was just trying to throw strikes," Herrera said. "I had a lot of days off, and perhaps that's why I was throwing a little harder."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Ventura sturdy bridge to Royals' lethal bullpen

Rookie right-hander delivers solid start to help thwart Giants in Game 2

Ventura sturdy bridge to Royals' lethal bullpen

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals do not need their starting pitchers to dominate, they just have to keep them in the game long enough for the offense to eke out a lead and let their dominant bullpen take over. Such was the case on Wednesday night, where the Royals' 7-2 victory in Game 2 evened the World Series at one game apiece.

James Shields' performance in Game 1 -- surrendering three quick runs in the first and five overall in three-plus innings -- gave the Royals little chance at victory. But rookie Yordano Ventura did his part on Wednesday, delivering 5 1/3 innings while limiting the Giants to two runs on eight hits.

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"For me, in this type of series, if you can get us into the sixth inning tied or with the lead, you've done your job," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

Ventura got off to an inauspicious start. The first batter of the game, Gregor Blanco, worked an eight-pitch at-bat, all fastballs, the last of which Blanco deposited 394 feet into the Giants' bullpen in right field to give the Giants a 1-0 lead and prompted a nervous hush over Kauffman Stadium.

It was just the 10th leadoff homer in World Series history, but Ventura, the 23-year old rookie from the Dominican Republic, did not allow it to faze him.

"Focus on the next pitch," Ventura said through an interpreter. "Lots of game left after the home run. Not concerned about it. Obviously, I didn't want to give up the home run, but just go pitch to pitch and continue to work and execute."

The next batter, Joe Panik, flied out harmlessly to right field. Buster Posey became the first of Ventura's two strikeouts on the day. Then, Ventura threw Pablo Sandoval out at first base on a comebacker back to the mound to end the inning.

"He handled himself very well," Royals catcher Salvador Perez said. "He stayed aggressive, even though Gregor Blanco hit a home run against him early in the game. He's a great kid, great competitor, and he bounced back."

Video: Ventura on his outing in Royals' 7-2 win

Ventura became the first Royals rookie to start a World Series game at any position and gave a solid, if unspectacular start. That is all the Royals ask of their young pitcher, at least for now.

Ventura seems poised to become the Royals' next ace, especially if they are unable to sign Shields during the offseason. Ventura still relies on his fastball heavily, and once he develops his secondary pitches, he could take the next step after an impressive rookie campaign.

Ventura's fastball, however, is dynamic. Ventura led the Majors this season with an average fastball velocity of 96.8 mph and he often hovers around the triple-digit mark. But he did not miss many bats on Wednesday. Credit the Giants, the best fastball-hitting team in the Majors, with a .276 average off fastballs 95 mph and higher.

Video: Yost discusses the luxury of his bullpen

Even with the Giants' high contact rate and Blanco's home run off a fastball in the first inning, Ventura did not detour from his game plan of heaters: 60 of the 87 pitches were fastballs.

"I'm going to use my best pitch, which is my fastball," Ventura said.

And in Game 2, it was good enough.

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Tightness in back curtails Lincecum's return to action

Tightness in back curtails Lincecum's return to action

KANSAS CITY -- Tim Lincecum waited an entire postseason to make an appearance for the Giants, and when it finally happened, the outing lasted all of 23 pitches, as the right-hander was forced to leave Wednesday's Game 2 of the World Series after his back tightened.

Lincecum's final pitch, coming with two out in the eighth inning to Royals catcher Salvador Perez, bounced to the plate as Lincecum did a little flip on his follow-through. Trainers went to the mound, and he immediately left the game.

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"It was just the pitch before the last one; I felt something tighten up in my back," Lincecum said after the Royals tied the best-of-seven Series at a game apiece with a 7-2 victory. "I just decided not to go any further."

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

Lincecum will undergo treatment when the team returns to San Francisco on Thursday for an off-day workout at AT&T Park. He would not speculate as to whether he will be ready for Game 3 on Friday night.

"It's all right right now," Lincecum said as he dressed in the clubhouse without the benefit of even an ice pack. "We're just going to treat it, see how it feels tomorrow, but right now it just feels pretty stiff. I think we're just going to play it by ear, take it day by day and see how it feels tomorrow."

Manager Bruce Bochy had been going round to round this postseason looking for an opportunity to use the one-time starter, who won 12 games this past season but hadn't made a relief appearance since Sept. 28, the final day of the regular season. The opportunity presented itself on Wednesday after the Royals scored five runs against five Giants pitchers in the sixth inning to shatter a 2-2 tie.

Lincecum came out of the 'pen to start the seventh inning and worked flawlessly into the eighth, retiring the first five batters he faced. The injury occurred on a 2-2 pitch to Perez, and when Lincecum left the mound, Santiago Casilla finished the at-bat, striking out Perez swinging on his only pitch.

Video: Lincecum fans two before exit

Despite the injury, Lincecum is satisfied with the brief outing.

"I felt good," he said. "It was nice to get out there, obviously, and compete a little bit. You just get out there in the game-time atmosphere and you don't think about how long it's been. You just try to compete, and your body taps into what it's comfortable with. Outside of that, all I was thinking about was hurting myself."

Video: Lincecum on his injury

Lincecum's postseason resume includes a 5-2 record and 2.40 ERA in 13 appearances -- six starts -- since the Giants began going to the playoffs in 2010, winning the World Series that year and again in '12. As a starter in 2010, Lincecum went 4-1, including two wins during his club's five-game World Series victory over Texas. Two years ago, when the Giants swept the Tigers, Lincecum was relegated to the bullpen; he made six postseason appearances, two of them scoreless and hitless in a span of 4 2/3 innings during the World Series.

This postseason, Bochy has been reluctant to use him, even in relief. Despite pitching one of his two career no-hitters earlier in the season, Lincecum hasn't made a start since Aug. 23. But he doesn't think the long layoff had anything to do with the sudden injury.

"I don't think so, just because I've been on the mound a few times in bullpen sessions," said Lincecum, who made his last one during a workout here on Sunday. "I've been trying to go full bore in those, so I don't think it's an injury that has anything to do with that. I've had this at times, but I don't think it's linked to any direct thing."

Considering the fact that rookie right-hander Hunter Strickland gave up his fifth homer of the postseason in the sixth -- a two-run shot by Omar Infante -- Bochy might be more inclined now to use Lincecum in stress situations. That is, if he's healthy.

Video: Bochy on Lincecum leaving the game

"Oh yeah, he threw the ball well, he did," Bochy said. "I mean, we're going to need help in the sixth and seventh innings. I like the way he threw the ball today. It's been a while since he pitched. But I thought overall he looked good [considering] the long layoff. So he can be in the mix. Now I'll have to see how he's doing tomorrow and where we're at, but I was happy for him. He should feel good about how he threw the ball. He's going to be a guy, that if he's healthy, we'll probably use in that area."

Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Butler matches Brett with rare RBI feat

Royals' DH drives in sixth and seventh runs of postseason in Game 2

Butler matches Brett with rare RBI feat

KANSAS CITY -- With a spectator's seat awaiting him in San Francisco and free agency looming shortly after that, Royals designated hitter Billy Butler helped Kansas City build a sixth-inning lead that also boosted the chances that Game 2 of the World Series would not be Butler's final act in front of the home fans at Kauffman Stadium.

With RBI singles in the first and sixth innings of the Royals' 7-2 win over the Giants on Wednesday night, Butler became the first Royals player with a tying and go-ahead hit in the same postseason game since George Brett in the 1985 American League Championship Series.

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The sixth-inning knock sparked a five-run rally that positioned the Royals to knot up the best-of-seven Series before it heads out West for three games.

Butler's first hit came off Jake Peavy, against whom he had 14 hits in 33 regular-season at-bats. He drove in Lorenzo Cain to tie the game, 1-1.

Video: Butler singles home Cain to tie it at 1

"You know, this is the postseason, so the other experiences really don't come into play," Butler said of his success against Peavy. "I know what he's featuring. I know he's got good offspeed breaking stuff and he's got a good sinker. I know in that situation right there that in the past that I've hit his fastball well at times, that he's going to try to stay down and away from me and try to make me hit his pitch.

"He started me off well. He threw a good cutter, and I swung over the top of the first one. ... He threw me the same pitch again, and it stayed up a little bit more, and I drove it through the middle."

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Giants manager Bruce Bochy had no interest in letting Peavy face Butler a third time, so he made his first move to the bullpen with two on and none out in the sixth. Butler simply got to Giants reliever Jean Machi instead, lining a single to left field that drove in Cain from second base for a 3-2 lead.

"I knew when I got 2-0 with runners on first and second, nobody out, the last thing he wants to do is put another guy on there to load the bases with nobody out," Butler said of Machi. "So I knew he was going to attack me with a fastball. I was just looking for it up in the zone, and got a good pitch to hit."

Seeking the big inning that he would eventually get, Royals manager Ned Yost removed Butler for pinch-runner Terrance Gore. Butler's RBI total this postseason now sits at seven.

"I tell you what, Billy, the hit off Machi to put us ahead 3-2 at that point was a monster hit for us," Yost said. "Because, again, I felt really strongly that whoever scored that third run was probably going to win the game."

Video: Yost on Butler's value as a hitter

With the DH out of play at the National League park in San Francisco, Butler's activity over the next three World Series games could be limited to pinch-hit opportunities. He'd be ensured another start if the series extends to a sixth game, which would be played back in Kansas City, the only place Butler has called his Major League home.

With the Royals unlikely to exercise Butler's $12.5 million option at season's end, there is the possibility that free agency lures him elsewhere once this postseason ride ends.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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The World Series gear that the pros are wearing

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The World Series gear that the pros are wearing

There are no World Series guarantees. The Royals went 29 years without one. Before the Giants started a run of three World Series trips in five years in 2010, they had only gone to two since 1954. You can spend your entire life waiting for a World Series that never comes, so when your team does make it, you'd better savor it. 

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Rudd and Stonestreet celebrate Royals' WS run

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Rudd and Stonestreet celebrate Royals' WS run

Actors Paul Rudd and Eric Stonestreet haven't had the easiest time being Royals fans. While following a team that hadn't been to the postseason for 29 years, Rudd became accustomed to people saying "Oh, that's cute" when learning of his particular affiliation. 

As for Modern Family's Stonestreet, when the Royals went into a brief late-season swoon, he had a hard time not falling back on "29 years of pessimism." 

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Infante makes presence known for Royals

Second baseman hits game-breaking home run in sixth inning

Infante makes presence known for Royals

KANSAS CITY -- Almost the entirety of this postseason has passed with Omar Infante stuck in the shadows, his ailing right shoulder a nuisance and his been-here-played-on-this-stage story not exactly as magnetizing as those basking in the World Series spotlight for the first time.

It's understandable that he would be overlooked on a club built around its homegrown talent, enough of which bloomed in unison for the bunch to end a city's 29-year drought. But on a night when one of those drafted-and-developed players outpitched a seasoned veteran and another broke open the game with a two-run double and yet two more dazzled in relief, Infante scored an early go-ahead run before delivering the go-home punch in Kansas City's 7-2 win over the Giants in Game 2.

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For one special evening at Kauffman Stadium, it was enough to nudge him out of the background.

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

"You want your good players to come up huge in big situations, and he was able to do that tonight for us," teammate Mike Moustakas said. "It was awesome to see that from him."

Take out all the peripherals and, yes, the results were clearly a boon to the Royals' pursuit of the franchise's first world championship since 1985. Infante helped Kansas City to a 2-1 lead when he doubled and scored in the second. He then punctuated a five-run sixth inning with a two-run homer, his first long ball in 145 postseason at-bats. St. Louis' Jon Jay was the only active player with a longer drought, his at 189.

"It was great for us," Infante said afterward, before adding, "And great for me."

That's the cue for context.

Playing for his fourth team in 13 Major League seasons, Infante fell short in offering the desired first impression in the first season of the four-year, $30.25 million deal he signed last December. He fought right elbow soreness in the spring, took a pitch off his face in April, dealt with nagging back pain in May and played much of the second half bothered by a sore right shoulder, which was heavily wrapped with ice after the team's Game 2 win.

The physical limitations left him to endure his worst offensive season since 2005. And until Wednesday, the postseason had proven no more fruitful. Other than a single that sparked the game-winning rally in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, Infante had been absent from all the Royals' scoring.

"I have not done well in the postseason, but now we're in the World Series and I'm trying the best I can," Infante said. "I think my mind is clearer."

Video: Infante makes slick play

That might have something to do with improving health, as Infante noted that the shoulder pain has been more manageable in recent days. The five-day layoff before the start of the World Series helped, as has reducing the out-of-game stress he puts on his shoulder. Pain medication has also been essential.

"I'm taking a lot of pills for the pain," he said multiple times. "That has helped me a lot."

Infante felt nothing but a release of relief upon making contact on a 98-mph Hunter Strickland fastball in the sixth, poking the pitch into the left-field bullpen to put the Royals ahead by five. Infante, who connected for six home runs over 528 regular-season at-bats, had contributed two extra-base hits in a game only three times before Wednesday.

While he may not know the ache of having to wait nearly three decades to return to the World Series, Infante is plenty versed in how it feels to come up short. This is his third shot at securing a World Series ring, his previous attempts with the Tigers foiled by the Cardinals (2006) and Giants (2012). That last World Series appearance was especially stinging, as the Giants not only sent his club home with a sweep but also him with a broken hand. A Santiago Casilla pitch in the ninth inning of Game 4 did the damage.

Video: Infante makes over-the-shoulder grab

Wednesday was finally his opportunity to do his own damage.

"That year was tough for me," the second baseman said. "That last game in the World Series, I broke my hand. I felt bad. I felt frustrated. Now, I'm happy to be here and playing good baseball."

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Giants-Royals, World Series Game 2: Did you know?

Giants-Royals, World Series Game 2: Did you know?

The Royals bounced back from their Game 1 loss to even the World Series at one game apiece with a 7-2 victory Wednesday night in Game 2 at Kauffman Stadium.

In a postseason filled with one-run games and extra-inning contests, each of the first two games in the World Series has been decided by at least five runs. That hadn't happened in nearly 80 years.

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Here's a look at some of the other interesting facts and figures to come out of Game 2.

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

Gregor Blanco's leadoff homer was the first in a World Series game since Johnny Damon in Game 4 of the 2004 Fall Classic. Of the previous nine teams that had a player lead off a World Series game with a home run, seven had gone on to win the game. The Giants join the 1954 Indians (against the Giants) and the 1909 Pirates (against the Tigers) as the only teams to lose a World Series game after beginning the night with a leadoff homer.

• The Royals racked up four doubles in Game 2, the most since the Giants hit six two-baggers in Game 1 of the 2010 Fall Classic. Kansas City's five extra-base hits overall were also the most in a World Series game since 2012 when the Giants had five in Game 1 against the Tigers.

• Veteran second baseman Omar Infante was responsible for two of those extra-base hits, notching a double and a two-run homer that broke the game open in the sixth inning. The homer came in Infante's 145th career postseason at-bat, snapping the second-longest active drought in the Majors. The Cardinals' Jon Jay (189 postseason at-bats without a homer) has the longest such streak.

Video: Infante homers, benches clear

• This World Series is the first in which each of the first two games were decided by five or more runs since 1937, when the Yankees defeated the Giants by identical 8-1 scores in Games 1 and 2. It's also only the second time the teams have traded victories of five or more runs in Games 1 and 2. The other such series came in the 1936 Fall Classic when the Giants won Game 1, 6-1, and the Yankees bounced back with an 18-4 victory in Game 2.

• The Giants' Pablo Sandoval's leadoff double in the fourth inning extended his postseason streak of reaching base safely to 25 straight games, tying him with former Oriole Boog Powell for the third-longest such streak of all-time. Only the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera (31 straight games) and the Phillies' Chase Utley (27) have reached base safely in more consecutive postseason games, though Sandoval's is the longest active streak.

Video: Panda extends postseason streak

• The Giants' Jake Peavy has pitched fewer than six innings in eight straight starts to begin his postseason career, the longest postseason streak by a starter at any point during a career. In fact, Wednesday night marked just the fourth time in those eight starts that Peavy has even completed five full innings.

Video: Peavy hurls five-plus innings

• Though he's had trouble pitching deep into postseason games, Peavy has actually pitched considerably better over his last four postseason outings than his first four. After going 0-3 with a 10.31 ERA over his first four postseason starts, Peavy is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his four starts since.

Yordano Ventura's five-inning outing in Game 2 marked the ninth time in 10 games this postseason that a Royals starter has not completed seven innings. Ventura is actually the only Royals starter to do so, pitching seven full in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Angels. During the Wild Card era, no team has won the World Series without at least three seven-inning starts during that postseason.

Video: Ventura holds Giants to two runs

• Given the string of relatively short outings, the Royals bullpen has been credited with seven of the Royals' nine victories this postseason, including Wednesday night. That matches the 2003 Marlins for the most bullpen victories by one team in a single postseason. Kansas City relievers are a combined 7-0 with a 1.81 ERA this postseason.

Video: Holland gets final out

• Giants reliever Hunter Strickland became just the second relief pitcher all-time to allow five home runs in a single postseason, joining the Brewers' Chris Narveson, who did so in 2011. Strickland has faced only 23 batters over 5 1/3 innings this postseason, while Narveson faced 33 hitters over 7 1/3 frames in '11.

• Prior to departing with lower back tightness, Tim Lincecum became just the second reliever in the past 12 years to toss at least 1 2/3 perfect innings in a World Series game that his team ultimately lost. Alexi Ogando tossed 1 2/3 perfect innings for the Rangers in their Game 4 loss in 2010, marking the only other such occurrence since 2002.

• Reliever Santiago Casilla took over for Lincecum, entering the game with two outs and a 2-2 count against Salvador Perez. Casilla finished off the strikeout with just one pitch, becoming the only pitcher in World Series history to record a strikeout in a one-pitch outing.

• Prior to allowing seven runs in Game 2, the Giants had allowed just eight runs combined over their last seven World Series games, all victories.

• The next game will obviously be a pivotal one, but just how important has Game 3 been in past 1-1 series? In best-of-seven World Series that start out tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has gone on to win 38 out of 54 times. Since 1969, the start of divisional play, teams that win Game 3 in a 1-1 series are 16-3, though the Red Sox defied that trend just a season ago.

Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Holland, Kimbrel win Reliever of Year Awards

Closers for Royals, Braves collect hardware named after former greats Mariano, Hoffman

Holland, Kimbrel win Reliever of Year Awards

KANSAS CITY -- Royals closer Greg Holland and Braves closer Craig Kimbrel were named the Relievers of the Year on Wednesday before the start of Game 2 of the World Series.

Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred presented Holland with the Mariano Rivera Award, which honors the most outstanding American League reliever. Kimbrel received the Trevor Hoffman Award, which honors the most outstanding National League reliever.

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Kimbrel topped the NL in saves for the fourth straight season with 47 -- one behind Major League leader Fernando Rodney -- while Holland finished third in the Majors with 46. Atlanta's ninth-inning man posted a 1.61 ERA and a 92-percent successful save rate, while Kansas City's closer notched a 1.44 ERA and a 96-percent save rate.

Video: Kimbrel's 47th save

"Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, you kind of get [humbled] when your name is put on the same plaque as either of those two guys," Holland said roughly an hour before Kansas City hosted San Francisco at Kauffman Stadium.

"I was kind of iffy about attending a World Series I wasn't a part of, but in respect to Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera, the awards being named after them, I felt like I needed to be here to accept the award," Kimbrel said. "I'm very humbled and grateful to have this opportunity."

This is the first year MLB named the annual reliever awards after Hoffman and Rivera. Previous stalwart relievers earned the Rolaids Relief Man Award, but that accolade ended in 2012, with Kimbrel as the final NL winner. Relief pitching awards took a hiatus in 2013.

"This past year, Commissioner [Bud] Selig decided because of the significance of relief pitching in our game, it was important to have appropriate awards and appropriately named awards," Manfred said.

The inaugural Rivera and Hoffman Award winners are certainly deserving, as the case could be made that Holland and Kimbrel have been the best closers in MLB for the past two seasons.

Since 2013, among relievers with at least 100 innings pitched, Holland leads with a 1.32 ERA, with Kimbrel (1.40) close on his heels. Kimbrel holds a slight edge in saves with 97, compared to Holland's 93.

Video: Holland saves four ALCS wins

They each strike out batters at a prodigious rate. Holland has produced 13.0 strikeouts per nine innings since 2012. In Kimbrel's last four seasons, he has 436 strikeouts in 268 1/3 innings.

"He's been doing it for so long," Holland said of Kimbrel. "You've got to respect that. Being on the mound in the ninth inning is not easy a lot of times. ... As someone who does it, he makes it look too easy sometimes."

"Watching Greg pitch ... he's part of why their team is where they are right now, playing in the World Series," Kimbrel said. "He's a big part of that."

Jeff Montgomery was the last Kansas City relief pitcher to be honored as the AL's top reliever. He won the Rolaids Relief Award in 1993. John Smoltz was the previous Atlanta winner of the award in 2002.

Jackson Alexander is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Royals superfan Lee meets Mike Sweeney, jumps for joy

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Royals superfan Lee meets Mike Sweeney, jumps for joy

By now, you know the story of Royals superfan SungWoo Lee: Eager to improve his English, the South Korean baseball fan decided to start watching Royals games in the 1990s. He's stuck with the team ever since, and visited Kansas City for the first time this season. He's back in K.C. for the World Series, and he's having a grand old time.

MLB.com caught up with Lee and, as you can see in the video up top, he's loving watching his favorite team compete for the Commissioner's Trophy. He had some particularly kind words for the people of Kansas City:

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Robinson shares dad's legacy at Negro Leagues museum

Robinson shares dad's legacy at Negro Leagues museum

KANSAS CITY -- If Jackie Robinson were alive, the first thing he would do, his daughter estimated, would be to shift the attention away from himself and shine it directly on the kids he was trying to influence.

But, as Sharon Robinson pointed out, so much of Jackie's life was about overcoming obstacles that were forced upon him. In that respect, Jackie would simply have to talk about himself, because there is so much to be learned about how far this country has progressed, but at the same time, much reminds us how much work there still is to do.

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That's why Robinson's entire life simply defines his legacy.

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

"My dad would not have used his own life as an example," Robinson said on Wednesday after meeting with kids from Faxon Elementary at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. "He would have talked to them about their lives and kind of focused on the importance of getting an education. I had never heard him talk specifically about overcoming obstacles, so I don't know if that would have been his message for kids. But certainly, that was his life."

During her hourlong presentation to the group of 50 kids, Robinson covered much more than just her dad's place in history as Major League Baseball's first African-American player. She spoke of Jackie's father, who abandoned the family when Jackie was a baby, leaving his mother to raise five children by herself. She talked about the racism Jackie encountered while serving in the United States Army. She took the audience through the timeline of what Jackie accomplished before 1947, when he gained entry into baseball as the game's first black player.

Her message? Character, discipline and hard work mean something.

"You have to do well in elementary school, have to do well in middle school," she said to the kids. "Every year, it gets more complicated. Then you have to do well in high school. Then you go on to college, and you have to do well in college.

"When you look at somebody who's doing well, you look at how good their grades are, but more important, at how well they're learning and how well they keep what they're learning in their head and use it in their life."

Wednesday's session at the museum attracted quite a crowd. Former Kansas City Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney was in attendance, along with Tom Brasuell, MLB's vice president of community affairs; Toby Cook, the Royals' vice president of community affairs and publicity; Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum; Dr. R. Stephen Greenk, superintendent of Kansas City Public Schools; and Sluggerrr, the Royals' mascot.

For the sixth consecutive year, Major League Baseball is dedicating the first four games of the World Series to raising the awareness of important causes associated with charitable initiatives and partners of Major League Baseball. Game 1 was dedicated to veterans and military families, Game 2 is education and ALS awareness, Game 3 is Stand Up To Cancer and the fight to end cancer in our lifetimes, and Game 4 is youth outreach.

Game 2 honored education and the legacy of Jackie Robinson through the "Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life" program, an MLB initiative inspired by Jackie Robinson and spearheaded by Sharon for the last 17 years.

"Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life" is an educational and essay writing-based program developed by MLB, Sharon Robinson and Scholastic to educate students in grades four through nine about Jackie Robinson. Students learn and write about Jackie's life values and how they can apply them to overcoming obstacles or barriers in their own lives.

Michael Andalaro, a ninth grader from Phoenix, was recognized on the field as one of two Grand Prize winners of the 2014 Breaking Barriers essay contest.

"It was very exciting," Andalaro said. "I was out on the field, and that's always been my dream, as a little boy, to be out on the field. I met some of the players, met the future Commissioner, which was extremely exciting."

In his essay, Andalaro explains what it is like to be the only deaf student at his school, and how he uses persistence, teamwork and a commitment to excellence to be a successful and engaging student.

"I talked about Jackie Robinson and the values that he used," Andalaro said. "I talked about how his values helped me overcome my obstacles."

Robinson encouraged all of the kids from Faxon Elementary to enter the contest next year.

"[My father] would be so shocked that here we are for all these years still using his life as an example of strong character and overcoming obstacles," Robinson said. "I'm delighted. I love to tell his story, but more important, I love to spend time with kids."

The kid element is something she knows would make her dad the most proud.

"My father loved young people," she said. "Whenever he had a chance, he was out speaking to young people, so I think he'd love that we have a program that's now 18 years old that has reached so many children, and it's in his name."

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Giants relievers unable to execute Bochy's plan

Strickland at center of sixth-inning meltdown

Giants relievers unable to execute Bochy's plan

KANSAS CITY -- Six pitches.

That was the sum total of Giants reliever Hunter Strickland's role in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium. And that's all it took to turn around the game, and the tenor of the Fall Classic.

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Five Giants pitchers made an appearance in the bottom of the sixth inning. They combined to give up five runs on five hits, allowing the Royals to coast to a 7-2 win that evened the best-of-seven Series at a game apiece. It was Strickland, who allowed a double to catcher Salvador Perez and a homer to second baseman Omar Infante -- after also throwing a wild pitch -- who was right in the middle of it all.

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

After the home run, he appeared to exchange words with Perez, although he insisted he was simply upset at himself.

"I didn't perform. I didn't do my job. So I was frustrated with myself. My emotions got the best of me," said Strickland, who has an 18.00 postseason ERA and has allowed five home runs in 5 1/3 innings. "I haven't performed to the best of my ability this postseason. It's frustrating personally because I feel like I've let the team down. I didn't make my pitches. But it's the World Series and you've got to have a short memory."

Giants starter Jake Peavy had retired 10 straight before Lorenzo Cain opened the bottom of the sixth with a soft single to center. First baseman Eric Hosmer then worked a walk on a 3-2 count.

With the score tied at 2, with a game in hand after winning the opener and perhaps most importantly, with a chance to push the Royals into a deep ditch and the next three games on their home turf at AT&T Park, Giants manager Bruce Bochy went for the jugular. He went to his bullpen.

It didn't go as planned. But veteran Jeremy Affeldt, the final Giants pitcher of the inning, still believes Bochy pushed all the right buttons.

"It's not that he didn't put the right guys in the right spots. We still have to execute our pitches. And if we don't do that, it's not always going to work out. I think he had the right guys in the right spots. We just happened to leave balls where they could be hit. He made the proper moves. We just didn't throw the pitches," he said.

Right-hander Jean Machi was summoned to face right-handed-hitting designated hitter Billy Butler , who had singled in Kansas City's first run in the bottom of the first. Butler delivered again, bringing Cain home with a base hit to left that rolled just past the reach of Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. Hosmer stopped at second.

Video: Wild pitch puts runners on second and third

"Billy Butler hit that ball and you go back and look and it's about an inch from Craw's glove," Peavy said. "It takes some breaks sometimes, too, and we didn't catch many. We didn't play our best baseball on any front. That's what happens. You get beat. We had a tough inning, but other than that, we played pretty well. We had an inning that got away from us and it cost us the ballgame."

That brought the manager out of the dugout again, this time for left-hander Javier Lopez to face lefty-swinging Alex Gordon, who flied out. One down.

Said Bochy: "First of all, Jake was throwing the ball well. [But] once he lost Hosmer, I just wanted to give Butler a little different look. Machi got behind and that pitch got away from him. Now it's a one-run game and the kid [Strickland] threw very well [Tuesday] night. I liked my matchups. Those are the matchups we were trying to get. It just didn't work out. It was a tough inning for us."

Continuing to mix and match, with right-handed catcher Salvador Perez at the plate, his next move was to bring in the hard-throwing Strickland.

The wild pitch advanced both runners. Perez doubled to center, scoring Hosmer and Terrance Gore, who had come in to run for Butler. Omar Infante followed with a home run, the fifth that Strickland has allowed this postseason. And that turned out to be pretty much the ballgame.

Video: Infante homers before benches clear

"[The double] was probably the big hit. That put them up three," analyzed Giants catcher Buster Posey. "Butler came up with a big hit, too, to get them on top. The inning started with Cain getting an off-the-end-of-the-bat single. Then Hosmer had a nice at-bat to draw the walk. Butler got in a hitter's count and put a good swing on the ball. And then Perez went out there and got that one. It wasn't too bad of a pitch.

"I think the one mistake was probably to Infante there. The ball just ran back middle in."

Affeldt had a simple explanation for what went wrong.

"I think it's baseball. It can happen. That's a good team over there," he said. "And one thing about our pitching staff is we throw a lot of strikes, and they swing at pitches over the plate. So, for me, it happens. It doesn't happen that often and hopefully we can make the adjustments," he said.

"If you go back and look, they probably weren't quality pitches. We all have to make better pitches. The bullpen, we all have to go back and be focused on where we're locating those pitches when we're out there. It's a correction. It's a small correction by all of us. And we'll make it."

Strickland insisted both he and the rest of the Giants bullpen will be fine.

"For sure," he said. "It's part of the game. Nobody likes to get beat, but that doesn't shoot down our confidence. We know who were are and we know what we've got to do."

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Peavy settles in until finding trouble in sixth

Peavy settles in until finding trouble in sixth

KANSAS CITY -- Every number and every statistic hissed at Jake Peavy. They flashed across television screens and computer monitors late Wednesday evening, entering the sixth inning of Game 2 of the World Series.

Peavy had never completed six innings in a playoff game -- that was a popular stat. This summer, opposing hitters had crushed him for a .933 OPS their third time through the order -- that was another. And so on and so forth, to the point that anything other than a Peavy meltdown seemed unreasonable.

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With all those numbers at his disposal, manager Bruce Bochy never gave his starter a chance to melt away completely. But Peavy still allowed the first two batters of the sixth to reach base, sparking the Royals' key rally in a 7-2 Giants loss.

"You're going to take me out when I've retired 10 straight?" Peavy replied when asked about his danger zone entering the sixth. "I don't know. I would have been upset if he didn't let me [pitch] in a tie game."

  Date Air time First pitch Matchup Network
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 4 Oct. 25 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 5 Oct. 26 7:30 ET 8:07 ET KC vs. SF FOX
Gm 6* Oct. 28 7 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX
Gm 7* Oct. 29 7:30 ET 8:07 ET SF vs. KC FOX

Peavy wound up leaving Kauffman Stadium upset anyway. Minutes after the game ended, he sat hunched over a clubhouse laptop, dissecting each pitch to his final batter of the night.

Despite facing the middle of Kansas City's order in a tie game, Peavy explained later, he did not sweat the outside slider that Lorenzo Cain blooped into center to lead off the sixth. But he did sweat what happened next.

Peavy's first pitch to Eric Hosmer was an 89-mph fastball an inch or two off the plate, a pitch Peavy wishes he had located just a shade closer. His next two offerings were not close, but he came back with a pair of fastballs skimming opposite edges of the strike zone to run the count full.

Peavy then dumped what he hoped would be a tempting curveball just south of the strike zone -- "I should have thrown it more for a strike," he said -- and Hosmer watched it go by for ball four.

"That was a pretty good take," catcher Buster Posey said.

That pitch ended Peavy's night, forcing him to watch from the bench as Billy Butler ripped a go-ahead hit off Jean Machi before Salvador Perez and Omar Infante put the game out of reach with a double and a homer against Hunter Strickland.

Video: Peavy expresses disappointment in himself on mound

"It wasn't fun," Peavy said. "It's not ever easy coming out of the game with your runners on and having to watch. That's probably the toughest thing to have to do as a pitcher. You feel bad putting your guys in that situation. You want to be out there trying to pull your teammates through and get out of it there. Unfortunately, it didn't go that way."

What made Peavy's struggle in that sixth inning so unique is that he had thrown only 57 pitches up to that point, settling down on the score sheet despite some hard-hit balls. He felt "confident" heading into the sixth, and Cain's bloop single did nothing to change that.

But by the time Peavy finished with Hosmer, Bochy had seen enough. It was only five innings earlier that Peavy had given up an RBI single to Butler, allowing his second run on Alcides Escobar's double.

"Jake was throwing the ball well," Bochy said. "Once he lost Hosmer, I just wanted to give Butler a little different look."

"I know what he's featuring," said Butler, who had gone 14-for-23 off Peavy going into the night. "I know he's got good offspeed breaking stuff, and he's got a good sinker."

None of this is new for Peavy, whose struggles with San Diego labeled him a postseason goat early in his career. Those reputations can be hard to shake, and Peavy maintained his even after pitching adequately for the Red Sox at points last October, then again for the Giants earlier this month.

Now even the goodwill from those outings has vanished. With four runs in five-plus innings on Wednesday, Peavy's lifetime postseason ERA rose to 7.05. For the fifth time in eight playoff starts, he walked at least as many batters as he struck out.

Those numbers will surely hiss at him again if and when he takes the mound for a potential Game 6.

"My name will hang on this loss, and I feel bad for that, but we win together and we lose together," Peavy said. "We'll be back Friday night."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Sean Casey found a good way to kill time until Game 2

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Sean Casey found a good way to kill time until Game 2

While he and the rest of the world has been busy counting down the 20ish hours in between the final out of Game 1 and the first pitch of World Series Game 2, MLB Network broadcaster Sean Casey put the fountains of Kauffman Stadium to good use.

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