The Royals didn't exactly tear the cover off the ball in the second inning on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium, but that didn't prevent a seven-run outburst that set up a 10-0 victory over the Giants in Game 6 of the World Series.
One of the not-so-big blows came from Lorenzo Cain, who went to the plate with the bases loaded, one out, and a 2-0 lead. Cain greeted reliever Yusmeiro Petit by blooping a 2-2 pitch into shallow center field, dropping in front of Gregor Blanco. Mike Moustakas scored easily from third, and Statcast tracking technology shows that Alcides Escobar zipped around from second at a high speed of 19.3 mph to cross the plate without a throw. Meanwhile, Nori Aoki reached 19.8 mph while charging from first to third, soon scoring on a double by Eric Hosmer.
The two-run single was one of two hits on the night for Cain, helping the Royals force a winner-take-all Game 7 on Wednesday night in Kansas City.
More from World Series Game 6
Royals go wild in second
Kansas City sent 11 batters to the plate and recorded eight hits in the second, knocking around both starter Jake Peavy and Petit. Moustakas got the scoring started by ripping an RBI double under the glove of first baseman Brandon Belt and down the line, reaching 20.9 mph on his way to second, while Hunter Pence ran about 120 feet to corral the ball. Escobar helped keep the inning going with an infield hit, hustling to first at 19.6 mph and sliding in feet-first to avoid the tag of Belt, who hesitated after fielding the ball, unsure of whether to throw home. Cain's blooper made it 4-0, and Hosmer drove in two more with a double.
Hosmer chops a double
Hosmer's double was highly unorthodox. Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was playing in, with runners stationed at second and third, and Hosmer's chopper off the dirt in front of home plate bounced right over his head. Both runners scored, Cain reaching 19.5 mph on his way from second, and Hosmer got up to 19.2 mph before diving in headfirst with a double.
Aoki tracks down Morse's drive
With the game still scoreless in the top of the second, the Giants had a runner at second with two outs when Michael Morse lofted a deep fly ball to right field off Yordano Ventura. Aoki took a creative route but still reached 18.1 mph while covering more than 80 feet of ground, snatching the ball on the warning track in the corner.
Moustakas crushes a home run
Moustakas capped the Royals' big offensive night in the seventh inning, when he faced right-hander Hunter Strickland with the bases empty, no outs and a 9-0 lead. The third baseman got a low breaking ball and golfed it 392.7 feet, over the right-field wall. The solo shot was his first homer of the World Series but fifth of the postseason, a Royals record.
Statcast highlights from earlier in the postseason
World Series Game 5: Perez doubles of Davis
With one out and runners at first and second and the Giants leading, 2-0, in the bottom of the eighth inning, Perez slugged a 96-mph fastball off the top of the center-field wall. Hunter Pence got a secondary lead of 17 feet off first base, with Pablo Sandoval 13 feet off second as both runners waited until it was clear the ball was sailing over the head of center fielder Jarrod Dyson. At that point, they took off. Sandoval scored at a top speed of 17.6 mph, with Pence nearly catching up to him at 20.4 mph before sliding in ahead of Escobar's relay throw. Perez, who reached 18.3 mph, took third when the throw got past catcher Salvador Perez.
World Series Game 4: Dyson shows off speed to make diving catch
Kansas City was ahead, 4-3, with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Juan Perez hit a shallow fly ball to center field off reliever Danny Duffy. The blooper easily could have landed for a hit, if not for a spectacular grab by Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson.
From contact, Dyson made his first step in 0.2 seconds, and it took him 2.84 seconds to accelerate to a top speed of 21.7 mph. That's just a touch below the 21.9 mph he reached running out a double-play grounder in Game 4, but it still allowed him to cover 69 feet of turf in the 3.35 seconds the ball was in the air. The grab prevented a potential go-ahead, two-RBI hit, but it didn't stop the Giants from tying the game. Pence, stationed at third base, tagged up and raced home at a high of 20.7 mph, as Sandoval and Belt made it back safely to second and first, respectively.
World Series Game 3: Perez's scoop and throw beats Blanco's dive
With one out and the bases empty in the bottom of the eighth inning against Davis, Blanco dropped a bunt out in front of the plate that barely reached the infield grass. Salvador Perez, all 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds of him, sprang out from behind the dish and pounced on the ball before quickly unloading a strong throw to first. Blanco, who had four bunt hits this season, reached 21.2 mph on his way to first base, according to Statcast tracking technology. But he also negated some of his own momentum by launching into a headfirst dive toward the bag, and the throw beat him there.
World Series Game 2: Pence slips, still beats Escobar's throw
With the score knotted, 2-2, 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.
World Series Game 1: Royals' slick relay throw
With runners on first and third and one out in the first inning, Sandoval smoked a James Shields breaking ball into Kauffman Stadium's right-field corner. 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 Aoki deftly played the carom off the wall and zipped a throw to his cutoff man.
ALCS Games 1 and 2: Dyson gets caught ... twice
Counting the postseason, Dyson entered the ALCS 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 series 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 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.
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 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.
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 Eric Hosmer hit a weak grounder to first base. 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.
Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.