Giants strike back with two runs, trail 3-2 going into the seventh

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The Giants answered the Royals’ two-run top of the sixth inning with a two-run bottom half, reducing their deficit back to one run at 3-2. Brandon Crawford led off the inning with a single off of starter Jeremy Guthrie, then scored from first when Michael Morse ripped a double down the left field line.

Royals manager  Ned Yost took out Guthrie for reliever Kelvin Herrera. The flamethrowing right-hander was shaky, missing the zone and eventually walking Gregor Blanco. Still struggling with control, Herrera was able to induce a ground out from Joe Panik, but his only play was to first base, pushing both runners up to second and third base. Buster Posey knocked in the Giants’ second run with a ground out to second base, moving Blanco over to third in the process, but the Giants weren’t able to tie the game as Pablo Sandoval ended the frame with a ground out to first base.

The Giants will have to continue chipping away at the Royals’ well-regarded bullpen if they want to take a victory in Game 3 of the World Series.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.