Hunter Pence’s fifth-inning RBI single and Juan Perez’s sacrifice fly allowed the Giants to bring Game 4 of the World Series back to even ground at 4-4. The Giants have scored three runs after the Royals hung up a four-spot in the top of the third inning.
The fifth-inning runs were set up when Joe Panik laced a double into the right-center field gap, adroitly cut off by Lorenzo Cain. The double chased Royals starter Jason Vargas from the game. With Jason Frasor on the mound, Panik advanced to third on a Buster Posey ground out, then scored when Pence singled to left-center.
That forced manager Ned Yost to bring in lefty Danny Duffy, but the Giants continued to pressure. Pablo Sandoval ripped a single into left-center and a hustling Pence scampered into third base. Duffy then walked Brandon Belt on four pitches. After a chat with pitching coach Dave Eiland, Duffy got Juan Perez to make weak contact on a fly ball to shallow center field, but Jarrod Dyson had to dive forward to catch it, allowing Pence to tag up and score from third base to tie the game at 4-4. Duffy struck out Brandon Crawford to end the threat.
Vargas ends his evening having allowed three runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts. Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong after 2 2/3 innings, so this game will be decided by the bullpens.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.