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.

Mike Leake loses perfect game bid on leadoff single in the ninth

Mike Leake
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Just one week after Taylor Cole and Felix Peña tossed a combined no-hitter against Seattle, Mariners right-hander Mike Leake worked on his own perfect game through eight innings against the Angels.

It was an ambitious form of revenge, and one that Leake served up perfectly as he held the Angels scoreless in frame after frame. He sprinkled a handful of strikeouts throughout the first eight innings, catching Matt Thaiss on a called strike three in the third and getting two whiffs — called strikeouts against both Brian Goodwin and Shohei Ohtani — in the fourth.

The Mariners, meanwhile, put up a good fight against the Angels, backing Leake’s attempt with 10 runs — their first double-digit total since a 13-3 rout of the Orioles on June 23. Daniel Vogelbach led things off in the fourth with a three-run homer off of reliever Jaime Barria, then repeated the feat with another three-run shot off Barria in the fifth. Tom Murphy and J.P. Crawford helped pad the lead as well with a two-RBI single and two-RBI double, respectively.

In the ninth, with just three outs remaining, the Angels finally managed to break through. Luis Rengifo worked a 1-1 count against Leake, then returned an 85.3-m.p.h. changeup to right field for a base hit, dismantling the perfecto and the no-hitter in one fell swoop. Leake lost control of the ball following the hit, issuing four straight balls to Kevan Smith in the next at-bat and giving the Angels their first runner in scoring position. Still at a pitch count of just 90, however, he induced the next two outs in quick fashion and polished off the win with a triumphant eight-pitch strikeout against Mike Trout for the first one-hitter (and Maddux) of his career.

Had Leake successfully closed out the perfecto, it would’ve been the first of his decade-long career in the majors and the first the Mariners had seen since Félix Hernández’s perfect game against the Rays in August 2012. For their part, the Angels have yet to be on the losing end of a perfecto. The last time they were shut out in a no-hitter was 1999, at the hands of then-Twins pitcher Eric Milton.