Big League Stew - MLB

The second inning of Sunday night's Game 4 of the World Series looked like it was going to be trouble for both starters: Tommy Hunter(notes) of the Texas Rangers and Madison Bumgarner(notes) of the San Francisco Giants.

But thanks to stellar defensive plays from Josh Hamilton(notes) and Freddy Sanchez(notes), both hurlers — as well as first base umpire Jeff Kellogg — got out of the inning unscathed.

Hunter, who hadn't issued a walk against 89 straight batters, walked Cody Ross(notes) on four straight pitches. (Though all four pitches, especially ball four, looked to be on the edge of the strike zone.)

However, the real problem presented itself two batters later when Travis Ishikawa(notes) was ruled safe by Kellogg on a throw to first that would've completed an inning-ending double play. Replays showed that Elvis Andrus'(notes) throw hit Mitch Moreland's(notes) glove before Ishikawa's left foot landed on the bag.

Then the batter that Hunter arguably shouldn't have had to face, Edgar Renteria(notes), fought through a nine-pitch at-bat. Renteria lined a single to right field, giving the San Francisco Giants runners on first and third. And Hunter looked to be tiring a bit, throwing 43 pitches by that point.

Nate Schierholtz(notes) followed by blooping a ball toward shallow center field. And for about five seconds, it appeared that Ishikawa — who should've been ruled out — was going to score the game's first run. Josh Hamilton charged in hard, however, to make a diving catch and Hunter got out of his jam. Check it Hamilton's extension:

San Francisco also dodged trouble with an excellent defensive play in the bottom of the second.

After walking Ian Kinsler(notes) with two outs, Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner grooved a slider right down the middle to Jeff Francoeur(notes). Francoeur didn't miss the pitch, hitting it hard. But Freddy Sanchez made a leaping snare, getting just enough of his glove around the ball to end the inning, depriving the Rangers of at least having runners on first and third.

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