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.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.

Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.

Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.