Will Royals’ rout have carry-over effect into Game 7?

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KANSAS CITY – The on-field performance was off the charts, but the seeds for the Royals’ Game 6 World Series victory were planted before anyone left the clubhouse.

There was no “win or go home” pregame talk, according to veteran designated hitter Billy Butler. No self-induced pressure added to a situation where the stakes required no explaining.

With elimination staring them in the face, it was the Royals who played loose and aggressive, taking it to the Giants in a 10-0 spanking Tuesday to force Game 7 in the 110th Fall Classic.

[RECAP: Peavy rocked, Royals force Game 7]

After being soundly beaten in Games 4 and 5 at AT&T Park, Kansas City returned to Kauffman Stadium and posted the most lopsided shutout in a World Series game since the 1985 Royals walloped St. Louis 11-0 in Game 7. It marks yet another momentum shift in this back-and-forth series.

“Their confidence was definitely high going into that game,” Butler said of the Giants. “So for our offense to do that early in the game was huge for us.”

He spoke of the seven-run second inning that blew open Game 6 and chased Giants starter Jake Peavy after just 1 1/3 innings. Talk about a change in fortunes – the Royals entered Tuesday having been held scoreless in their previous 15 innings and producing just nine base runners over that span.

It was an emsemble act in Game 6. Six different Royals notched two hits, six drove in at least one run and every starting position player except Butler scored a run.

This marks just the sixth World Series to go the distance out of the past 26, and there’s an obvious storyline that takes form as Wednesday’s Game 7 awaits: Does any momentum carry over for the Royals from their Game 6 blowout, or do both teams start from scratch as they play a winner-take-all contest?

[RATTO: Game 7 fitting end to perfectly strange World Series]

“I don’t expect it in any way to have any type of (impact) for tomorrow,” Butler offered. “I think it’ll be a completely clean slate, just like we could have let two games in San Francisco carry over to here, but it didn’t.”

Some Game 7 historical nuggets to consider:

  •  This is the 37th time in a best-of-seven World Series that a final game has been played. Remarkably, the home team has won 18 times and the visiting team has won 18 times.
  • Recent history has definitely favored the home team, which has won each of the past nine Game 7’s.
  • The last road team to win Game 7 of the World Series was the Willie Stargell-led Pittsburgh Pirates of 1979.

However, a road block (and perhaps maybe a mental block) confronts the Royals in the form of Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. The lefty, who has held Kansas City to one run over 16 innings in this series, will be available in relief Wednesday. The only question is for how many innings, given he’ll be on just two days’ rest.

[RELATED: Bumgarner ready to go if needed in Game 7]

Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie will take the ball for the Royals, and veteran Tim Hudson will start for the Giants. But the Royals know full well they stand to get a third dose of MadBum.

“We’ll be prepared and ready to go,” Kansas City outfielder Lorenzo Cain said. “We’ve gotta worry about ourselves. We can’t worry about who’s pitching for them or whatever the case may be. We’ll be ready to go.

“It definitely helps the more you see a guy. At the end of the day, we gotta go up there and execute, and he has to locate his pitches.”

Kansas City’s first postseason experience since 1985 has lit a fire under this entire city. Local businesses are draping Royals banners across their buildings. City fountains are spouting blue water. It’s not lost on the players themselves how much is riding on a final, deciding game of this World Series.

“(Wednesday) means a lot to a lot of people,” Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “Not only in this clubhouse and upstairs, but to all the people who were with us in the minor leagues, people who helped us develop. Everyone that’s been with us every step of the way. It’s gonna be fun.”

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 6, Nationals 4: Carlos Gómez hit the big blast here, socking an eighth inning, go-ahead three-run homer. This after the Nats themselves had come behind following Dave Martinez getting ejected. Maybe there’s something to the whole idea of the Nats playing better without Martinez, but it’s trumped by the unreliability of the Washington bullpen, who would probably even make Casey Stengel look bad. So it would seem, at the moment anyway, the conditions for testing that idea are scientifically are not optimal. Washington should probably fix both of those things, though. Maybe they’ll have something if the season is not already lost by now.

Now let’s watch Carlos Gomez (a) lose his shoe running first to third; and (b) be all Carlos Gomez-y on that home run trot:

Pirates 14, Rockies 6: Pittsburgh was leading 8-0 when the Rockies put up a six-run sixth to make things interesting, but a big seventh featuring homers from Josh BellBryan Reynolds and Starling Marte put things back out of reach. Josh Bell on the season: .339/.408/.718 and he’s on pace for 55 homers and 162 RBI. Holy Moly.

Yankees 6, Orioles 5: New York took a 5-1 lead into the eighth and it looked like another cakewalk, but the O’s at least made it interesting with a four-run eighth to tie things up. Brandon Hyde sent reliever Mychal Givens out for the top of the ninth and . . . it didn’t go well. Well, it went well at first, as Givens struck out the first two batters he faced. Then:

If I’m an Orioles fan I suppose I’m happy that game-losing rally didn’t come via even more dinger — at least in the ninth; Clint Frazier and Luke Voit homered earlier — but I suppose that’s cold comfort. Hell, at this point of the season if I’m an Orioles fan I probably want dingers because the infamy of shattering the all-time single season home runs allowed record is gonna be a season highlight. Of sorts.

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2: Close for the first two thirds of the game but, unfortunately for the Jays, we usually play three-thirds in this game. Boston scored two in the sixth, one each in the seventh and eighth and then opened up with a three-run ninth to make this one not-so-close. Sox starter Ryan Weber allowed one run over six to give a breather to a bullpen which pitched in a thirteen inning game the night before and Steve Pearce homered and had three RBI. The highlight of the game, though, came from a Jays player. Watch Vlad Jr. through out Rafael Devers from his butt:

Marlins 5, Tigers 2: Make it six straight wins for the Marlins. This one was particularly fun for the Fish and particularly gutting for the Tigers, as Detroit took a 2-0 lead into the ninth only to see reliever Shane Greene cough up all five of the runs Miami would score on the day. First an RBI single to Neil Walker to made it 2-1. A few batters later Ron Gardenhire intentionally walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases, setting up Garrett Cooper for his two-out grand slam. Cooper hit his first big league dinger on Wednesday, so I guess he’s getting the hang of this game. That’s nine straight losses for Detroit. Could’ve been ten as they were trailing in a game against Oakland last weekend that got suspended. Of course it probably feels like 25.

Phillies 9, Cubs 7: Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto homered and Andrew McCutchen had two hits and two RBI as a fairly wild series ends up in a split. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber homered for Chicago but Jon Lester was kinda shaky. Philly has won five of seven.

Braves 5, Giants 4: Austin Riley hit a game-tying home run in the eighth and then drove in the go-ahead run in the 13th with an RBI single. The kid just got called up nine days ago but he’s already got five homers in those nine games while hitting .389/.421/.833. Someone tell him this game at that easy. Riley and Ozzie Albies each had three hits and Tyler Flowers homered too. The Braves have won 10 of 13 and have pulled to within a game and a half of Philly.

Twins 16, Angels 7: The Angels probably would’ve preferred another rainout. No dice, though, and as it was they gave up eight — 8! VIII! — homers to the Twins. Four of those were surrendered by Matt Harvey, who couldn’t get out of the third inning and whose ERA ballooned to 7.50 on the season. So, um, yeah, that whole experiment has not worked out too well. As for the dingers: Miguel Sanó and Jonathan Schoop went deep twice while C.J. Cron, Max KeplerJorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario had a homer a piece. It was the second time this year Minnesota hit eight homers in a game. The Twins are on pace for 324 homers. The all-time record was set by the Yankees last year with 267. Minnesota is likewise only the second team to hit eight homers in a game twice in a season. The last was the 2005 Rangers. Which, yeah, every game these days sort of feels like old Rangers games. Not that that’s really a compliment, aesthetically speaking. Indeed, longtime readers will know that I tend to default to “1990s-2000s Rangers” as a shorthand for rather boring, offense-heavy baseball. Not that Twins fans should mind, of course.

Rays 7, Indians 2: The “highlight” of this one was a Kevin Kiermaeir inside-the-park homer which was, in reality, a real drag of a play given that it only happened because Tribe outfielders Oscar Mercado and Leonys Martín slammed into each other and got hurt:

Each of the outfielders would stay in the game, thankfully. Both for their own sake and because the Indians are probably one injury or cold streak away from activating Cory Snyder or Albert Belle or someone to play outfield. The Rays got more conventional homers from Tommy Pham, Avisail García and Willy Adames.

White Sox 4, Astros 0: Lucas Giolio went the distance, spinning a four-hit shutout while striking out nine to help the Chisox earn a series split. That’s two straight complete games for Giolito. The last one was a rain-shortened four and a half inning number, but CGs are rare these days. He should own it.