Giants rout Royals 11-4 in Game 4 to even up the World Series at 2-2

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Game 4 of the World Series was close through the first five innings, but then the Giants’ offense came alive. Or, depending on your perspective, the Royals’ bullpen imploded.

The Giants took an early lead with a first-inning run, but the Royals stampeded for four runs in the top of the third inning. That was the extent of the Royals’ offense; from that point, the Giants would go on to score 10 unanswered runs. One came in the bottom of the third, two in the bottom of the fifth, three in the sixth, and four in the seventh.

Both teams’ starters did not last very long. Ryan Vogelsong went only 2 2/3 for the Giants, surrendering four runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision. On the Royals’ side, Jason Vargas yielded three runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts in four-plus innings.

The Giants had a host of standout stars in Game 4, chief among them Yusmeiro Petit, who tossed three crucial scoreless innings of relief in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. In 12 post-season innings, the right-hander has yet to allow a run while surrendering only four hits and four walks while striking out 11.

Also deserving of praise: Hunter Pence, who went 3-for-5 with a double, three RBI, and two runs scored. Joe Panik and Pablo Sandoval each had two hits (Panik had two doubles) and two RBI. Gregor Blanco went 2-for-5 with a walk and three runs scored. Buster Posey, with an RBI single in the third inning, tied Barry Bonds for the franchise post-season RBI record with 21.

The Royals’ bullpen, which held the Giants hitless over four innings in Game 3, was taken for eight runs on 10 hits and four walks with three strikeouts in five innings in Game 4. The combination of Jason Frasor, Danny Duffy, Brandon Finnegan, and Tim Collins just couldn’t get it done. The Royals were not deep enough into the game to consider using Wade Davis or Greg Holland.

The two clubs will look to break the 2-2 tie on Sunday night in Game 5 at AT&T Park in San Francisco as James Shields of the Royals will oppose Madison Bumgarner of the Giants. They’ll have an off-day on Monday, then head back to Kansas City for Game 6 and, if necessary, Game 7.

Attempting to complete cycle, Robinson Chirinos thrown out to end game

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With his Astros trailing the Tigers 2-1, catcher Robinson Chirinos began his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth a triple shy of the cycle. He doubled in the second inning, singled in the fourth, and hit a solo homer in the seventh. Yordan Álvarez and Yuli Gurriel both struck out, leaving the Astros’ fate in the hands of Chirinos against Joe Jiménez. After working the count to 2-1, Chirinos slapped an 85 MPH slider to the gap in right-center field. A diving Travis Demeritte could not come up with the ball, but center fielder Harold Castro fired the ball back in to Gordon Beckham, who then made a perfect throw to Dawel Lugo at third base. Chirinos was tagged out for the final out of the game. No triple, no cycle. The Astros lost 2-1.

Chirinos was attempting to become the first Astro to hit for the cycle since Brandon Barnes on July 19, 2013 against the Mariners.

The Astros entered Wednesday’s game as the largest favorite in 15 seasons, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. The Astros were -500 per Caesars Sportsbook. Other sportsbooks had them at -550. So the Tigers’ win was quite the upset.

Justin Verlander went the distance in the loss. The only blemishes on his line were solo homers to Ronny Rodríguez in the fifth and John Hicks in the ninth. They were the only hits he allowed while walking none and striking out 11.