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San Francisco Giants take commanding 3 games to 2 world series lead

By Mark ONeill
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Madison Bumgarner pitched the first complete game shutout in the World Series, since 2003, improving his own World Series record to 4-0, as the San Francisco Giants corralled the Kansas City Royals, 5-0, Sunday night, taking a three-games-to-two lead in the best-of-seven set.

Bumgarner allowed four hits, walked none and struck out eight batters, facing only four over the minimum, and never allowed a runner to get as far as third base. He threw 117 pitches on the night, 84 for strikes. Bumgarner’s take on his performance, when asked after the game? “Well, for some reason, I keep getting real lucky this time of year.”

Brandon Crawford went two for four, driving in three runs, including the first two runs scored in the game. His two-strike grounder to the right side in the second inning, opened the scoring for the Giants. In the fourth, with two outs, he singled in Pablo Sandoval with the second run of the game, and he capped the scoring in the eighth by driving in Juan Perez, with the fifth run of the game.

Oct 4, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) is greeted in the dugout after hitting a solo home run in the eighteenth inning against the Washington Nationals in game two of the 2014 NLDS playoff baseball game at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Hunter Pence went two for four and scored two runs; Pablo Sandoval also went two for four, and scored one run.

You want small ball? How about Brandon Belt bunting for a base hit?

Travis Ishikawa

had a pair of singles,

Brandon Belt

had his first bunt single of the season, and

Buster Posey

and

Joe Panik

each added a single, with the Giants banging out twelve hits altogether, the only extra base hit of the night, coming on Juan Perez’ double, the twelfth hit for San Francisco.

James Shields started for the Royals and went six innings, giving up two earned runs, on eight hits, with one walk and four strikeouts, taking the loss for the game. Kelvin Herrera pitched the seventh, and to the first two batters of the eighth inning, Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence, each of whom hit a single.

Wade Davis took over and after getting Belt looking, he gave up a two-run double to Juan Perez, who put a ball so high up on the left field wall, that there was only ball visible from the top of the wall down, where the ball actually hit the wall. No wall was visible, meaning an inch or two higher, and it was a three-run shot.

The point became moot, a moment later, when Crawford drove Perez home, getting his third RBI of the game. After having defeated the Royals’ starting ace twice, and having gotten to the Royals’ bullpen twice, the Giants are proving that they can contend with the weapons the Royals are tossing at them.

Brandon Crawford had three RBI’s in Sunday night’s game.

Omar Infante’s double in the fifth inning, allowed the only Royals runner of the game to reach as far as second base. Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez, and Eric Hosmer each added a single, but that was it for the Royals’ offense.

In terms of defense, the play of the game for the Giants goes to Brandon Belt, who fielded a grounded by Salvador Perez, and determined that the only way he could get the putout was to dive into first base, feet first, narrowly beating Perez to the bag. For the Royals, Lorenzo Cain robbed Pence of RBI’s when he made a racing catch in the right-center field gap, to end the fifth.

The final word on Bumgarner is that he is 7-3, lifetime, in postseason play, with a 2.27 ERA,  4-1, this season, with a 1.13 ERA. He is 4-0 in World Series play, with a 0.29 ERA. It was no coincidence that MadBum was hearing chants of “MVP” during the ninth inning, which he confessed after the game, he found pretty cool.

San Francisco has to win one more game, after returning to Kansas City, in order to sew up the Series. With Jake Peavy set to go, momentum is in the Giants’ favor.

Now all they have to do, is remember how they hit 28 base hits, in the past two games, 24 of them singles. Be aggressive, shorten up on swings, and keep the ball rolling.

Right to a Game-Six victory.

Oct 21, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy is interviewed before game one of the 2014 World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

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