The Giants jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning Tuesday before eventually winning Game 1 of the World Series in a 7-1 rout. And they got off to another fast start in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
Giants leadoff man Gregor Blanco finished off an eight-pitch at-bat against Royals starter Yordano Ventura with a no-doubt solo homer into the right field bullpen. It was the first home run to lead off a World Series game since Dustin Pedroia’s versus the Rockies in 2007, and it’s the first leadoff homer from a National Leaguer since Lenny Dykstra in 1986.
But the Royals answered right back in the bottom of the first inning, tying the game 1-1 after Lorenzo Cain doubled and Billy Butler drove him in with a two-out RBI single past Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford.
We may be in for a long night of baseball, with both Ventura and Jake Peavy looking less than dominant.
With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.
Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.
The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.
Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.