July 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Tim Hudson warms up before the game. Mandatory Credit: Denise Walos

San Francisco Giants dominated by James Shields, KC Royals

James Shields pitched a complete-game shutout, and the Kansas City Royals secured the series by defeating the San Francisco Giants for the second straight night, with the final score of 5-0 obscuring the fact the game was a tight pitchers’ duel going into the seventh inning.

Tim Hudson started for the Giants and had a three-hitter through six, the only run scored off of him to that point being a leadoff home run  in the fifth inning by Alex Gordon, who also singled in the decisive seventh.  But when Hudson gave up a double and two singles to lead off the seventh, scoring one, Bruce Bochy brought in Jeremy Affeldt.

Affeldt started off well, inducing a double-play ball from the first batter he faced, Raul Ibanez, but he then surrendered three consecutive singles, and a total of four runs, two of them charged to Hudson.  Jean Machi got the last out to end the seventh, while Juan Gutierrez finished up with a 1-2-3 eighth.

Shields was dominant, allowing only four hits and a walk, and never more than one base runner in any inning.  He struck out five, including Angel Pagan looking, to end the eighth, and Pablo Sandoval, looking, to end the game.

For the Royals it was a team effort, with Gordon the only player to have two hits.  Billy Butler doubled to lead off the four-run seventh and scored the first run of the inning, and Mike Moustakas doubled later in the same inning, knocking in Lorenzo Cain, who had singled.  Alcides Escobar singled in Moustakas for run number four and Jarrod Dyson, pinch-hitting for Nori Aoki, finished the scoring by knocking the fifth and final run.

Though Hudson pitched well into the seventh inning, with no run support, the game was already over, so the rest is moot.  Three singles and a last ditch double by Joe Panik, leading off the eighth, were all the offense the Giants could muster.

The end result is another series loss to a team with a winning record.  The last time the Giants took a series from a team with a winning record was in May.

The Giants don’t need to worry about the playoffs; they need to worry about winning some games.  

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