Royals add on, lead Giants 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth inning

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Royals outfielder Alex Gordon gave the Royals an insurance run when he doubled to center field in the top of the sixth inning, scoring Alcides Escobar from first base. Escobar had singled with one out off of Giants starter Tim Hudson, ending the right-hander’s streak of 12 consecutive batters retired. Hudson got Lorenzo Cain to ground out to third base for the second out of the inning before manager Bruce Bochy took him out of the game to bring in lefty reliever Javier Lopez. After a long at-bat, Eric Hosmer emerged victorious over Lopez to score Gordon from second base. Lopez got out of the inning with a strikeout of Mike Moustakas.

Hudson finishes the night having allowed three runs on four hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Jeremy Guthrie has been solid on the mound for the Royals, having retired 10 Giants batters in a row. Manager Ned Yost questionably allowed Guthrie to hit for himself to lead off the top of the sixth, rather than using a pinch-hitter and going to a reliever in the bottom half, perhaps Brandon Finnegan given that the Giants have several lefties due up (Brandon Crawford, Gregor Blanco, Joe Panik). Guthrie grounded out to second base.

Thus far, Guthrie has limited the Giants to just two hits in five innings. He has yet to record a strikeout nor has he walked a batter. If the Giants can’t get to Guthrie in the bottom of the sixth, they stand having to do so against the Royals’ fantastic bullpen.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.