The Giants were one weak ground ball or fly ball away from squandering a bases-loaded opportunity, but Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt made sure their club was able to capitalize on the opportunity. The Giants put their first two batters on base on consecutive bloop singles by pinch-hitter Joaquin Arias and Gregor Blanco against Royals rookie Brandon Finnegan. Rookie Joe Panik then bunted both runners over to second and third base, which forced Royals manager Ned Yost to order Finnegan to intentionally walk Buster Posey to load the bases.
Hunter Pence grounded into a 6-2 fielder’s choice, putting the Royals closer to an escape from a tense situation. Sandoval, however, wasn’t having it. He swung at Finnegan’s first offering, ripping a two-run single up the middle to break a 4-4 tie. Brandon Belt followed up with a ground ball single into right-center, pushing the Giants’ lead up to 7-4. Juan Perez grounded out to second base to end the inning.
The Giants have now scored six unanswered runs against the Royals. They’ll head into the seventh inning with a three run lead and nine outs to go. Yusmeiro Petit pitched three scoreless innings of relief but was replaced by Jeremy Affeldt to start the next frame.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.