Royals grab commanding lead and benches clear in sixth inning of World Series Game 2

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The host Royals have the visiting Giants right where they want them in Game 2 of the World Series.

Giants starter Jake Peavy cruised through the third, fourth, and fifth innings on just 26 total pitches, but he gave up a leadoff single to Lorenzo Cain at the top of the sixth and was lifted from the game after issuing a walk to the next batter, Eric Hosmer. Royals designated hitter Billy Butler then laced a Jean Machi fastball into left field, scoring Cain.

Giants lefty Javier Lopez came into the game and took care of Alex Gordon, but Salvador Perez pounced on the next reliever, righty Hunter Strickland, for a two-run double to the left-center field gap. Omar Infante followed with a two-run blast out to the bullpen in left and Strickland began jawing at Perez, who was waiting for Infante to cross home plate. The benches cleared, but nothing came of it and Strickland was quickly removed by Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Kansas City leads 7-2 as Game 2 moves to the seventh inning.

The Royals will be firing up dominant relievers Wade Davis and Greg Holland to close this thing out.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.