Royals even up World Series with 7-2 Game 2 victory

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Yordano Ventura held the Giants to two runs over five-plus innings and the Kansas City offense awoke for seven runs on 10 hits as the Royals evened up the 2014 World Series at a win apiece with a 7-2 Game 2 victory on Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The game was tied at 2-2 after five innings, but the Royals broke through in a huge way in the bottom of the sixth against Giants starter Jake Peavy and the San Francisco bullpen. Here’s how it went …

  • Lorenzo Cain singled to center
  • Eric Hosmer walked, Cain to second
  • Peavy replaced by Jean Machi
  • Billy Butler singled to left center, Cain scored, Hosmer to second
  • Machi replaced by Javier Lopez
  • Alex Gordon flied out to left field
  • Lopez replaced by Hunter Strickland
  • Hosmer to third, pinch-runner Terrance Gore to second on wild pitch
  • Salvador Perez doubled to deep left center, Hosmer and Gore scored
  • Omar Infante homered to deep left, Perez scored
  • Strickland replaced by Jeremy Affeldt
  • Mike Moustakas singled to center
  • Alcides Escobar grounded into double play

Strickland exchanged words with Perez while the Royals’ catcher was waiting to congratulate Infante at home plate, causing both benches (and both bullpens) to clear. But the fracas lasted no more than a minute.

Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland went a combined 3 2/3 scoreless innings to close it out.

The action now shifts to AT&T Park for Games 3, 4, and 5. We could have a classic one on our hands.

Yankees keep ALCS hopes alive with 4-1 win over Astros

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The Yankees defeated the Astros 4-1 during Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night, staving off a potential postseason elimination and forcing the series to at least six games.

In just the third playoff appearance of his career, Yankees southpaw James Paxton turned in another impressive performance, limiting the Astros to four hits and four walks over six innings of one-run ball. According to MLB Stats, his nine strikeouts made him the second Yankees lefty to record multiple starts of 8+ strikeouts in the same postseason campaign, two decades after David Wells did so for the 1998 championship-winning club.

Paxton’s strong outing was backed by a handful of runs from DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks, both of whom went deep against Astros ace Justin Verlander in the bottom of the first inning. LeMahieu’s leadoff solo shot marked his first postseason home run since Game 1 of the ALDS, while Hicks’ three-run 347-footer was his first home run of any variety since July 24 (and his first in the playoffs since the 2017 ALDS).

Neither team managed a single run after the first inning, leaving the two pitching staffs to duke it out for eight quick innings. Verlander outlasted Paxton — taking the game through the seventh with five hits, four runs, and nine strikeouts — but even with a flawless contribution from Brad Peacock in the eighth, there was little the hurlers could do to help the Astros solve Paxton and an airtight Yankees bullpen.

With the win, the Yankees will try to push the series to a full seven games in order to snatch the AL pennant from the Astros. They’ll have to do in Houston, however, as the Astros will regain home field advantage when Game 6 kicks off on Saturday at 8:08 PM EDT. Neither starter has been announced yet; per Houston skipper A.J. Hinch, it will likely be a bullpen day.