Giants pummel Royals bullpen to even World Series

Jeff PassanMLB columnist

SAN FRANCISCO – The rout grew like a wave, building up, cresting and then crashing down on the Kansas City Royals. The San Francisco Giants did what no one else this postseason had done: Not just beat the Royals' impermeable bullpen but pummel Kansas City in doing so.

Never mind that the Royals didn't deploy any of their three ace relievers. The Giants so thrashed Kansas City's middle-relief corps en route to an 11-4 victory that locked up the World Series at two games apiece, the Royals didn't bother summoning Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis or Greg Holland.

Gregor Blanco scores in front of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez. (AP Photo)
Gregor Blanco scores in front of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez. (AP Photo)
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Using them in a game like this would've constituted a waste. San Francisco piled run after run on top of one another, 10 consecutive after falling behind Kansas City early in the game. Every Giants starting position player pounded out a hit. The top five batters in the Giants' lineup went 10 for 22 with eight runs and eight RBIs. Hunter Pence drove in three, Joe Panik a pair.

How on were the Giants? Pablo Sandoval, who hit under .200 as a right-hander during the season, cracked back-to-back singles in the fifth and sixth innings, the latter of which came with the bases loaded, drove in two, broke a 4-4 tie and unleashed the deluge to come.

[Related: Mo'Ne Davis, Bryan Stow star in pregame festivities]

Rookie reliever Brandon Finnegan, who the night before gave his hat to the Hall of Fame after becoming the first pitcher to play in the College World Series and World Series in the same year, allowed five runs over one inning of work. The Royals' bullpen combined to yield eight runs after giving up nine in 48⅔ innings of work over their first 11 postseason games.

AT&T Park pulsed for the second half of a game that dragged on for nearly five hours. The Royals barely threatened after getting to Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong for four runs in the third inning. Yusmeiro Petit, who came on later in relief, pitched three scoreless innings to extend his postseason shutout streak to 12 innings.

The best part for the Giants, aside from dropping their highest run total of the season: ace Madison Bumgarner is scheduled to pitch Game 5 on Sunday, before the series heads back to Kansas City for a sixth game Monday.

 

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