James Shields driven from Game 1 in the fourth inning

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Royals manager Ned Yost has gone to the bullpen early in Game 1 of the World Series, removing starter James Shields after he surrendered an RBI single to Giants designated hitter Michael Morse in the top of the fourth inning. It was the fourth run of the game for the visiting Giants, who then plated their fifth run of the night when Gregor Blanco drew a bases-loaded walk off Kansas City reliever Danny Duffy.

San Francisco will carry a 5-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning at a stunned Kauffman Stadium.

All five of the Giants’ runs were charged to “Big Game James,” who now has a 5.74 ERA in 53 1/3 career postseason innings and a 7.11 ERA through 19 innings in this year’s tournament. That’s not a great look for the impending free agent right-hander.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.