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.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.