Oct 24, 2014 11:24 PM

Royals juggle lineup, lead 3-2 late in Game 3

The Associated Press

The Royals have turned the game over to their lights-out bullpen, and everything is going according to plan.

Wade Davis strikes out two in a perfect eighth inning, sandwiched around a quick-as-a-cat play by Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez on Gregor Blanco's bunt.

Lots of terrific defense on both sides tonight.

Kelvin Herrera and Brandon Finnegan combined for two hitless innings before it was Davis' turn. All-Star closer Greg Holland coming on for the ninth, with the Royals three outs from taking a 2-1 lead in the Series.


Back in the World Series.

Well, sort of.

Brandon Finnegan enters out of the bullpen for the Royals and the 21-year-old lefty gets two big outs to preserve a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning.

Finnegan pitched for TCU in the College World Series in June, so he becomes the first player to appear in the College World Series and the major league World Series in the same year.

"When I was 21, it was a very good year." ... Frank Sinatra, anyone?


Jeremy Guthrie gives up a leadoff single to Brandon Crawford in the sixth inning, ending the right-hander's string of 10 consecutive outs.

Michael Morse comes off the bench and delivers again with a pinch-hit RBI double down the third-base line and into the left-field corner.

Giants are on the board. Guthrie is lifted for Kelvin Herrera, as Royals manager Ned Yost turns to his bullpen.

Gregor Blanco walks, Joe Panik's chopper advances the runners and Buster Posey's run-scoring single makes it 3-2. Herrera, however, retires Pablo Sandoval on a grounder to strand Blanco at third and keep the Royals ahead by one through six.


Impressive at-bat by Eric Hosmer, who is having an outstanding postseason.

He stays right on left-hander Javier Lopez all the way through and lines his 11th pitch back through the box for a two-out RBI single that extends Kansas City's lead to 3-0.

Hosmer has been at his best in clutch situations during his first trip to the postseason everything you'd want out of a cleanup hitter.

Brought in to face consecutive left-handed batters, Lopez lets an inherited runner score. San Francisco has a tough hill to climb against Jeremy Guthrie and the Royals' stingy bullpen.

Yost is having quite a night, too. Everything he's touched has turned to gold so far in Game 3.


Giants starter Tim Hudson had retired 12 in a row before Alcides Escobar's one-out single in the sixth. Alex Gordon follows with an RBI double to deep center, making it 2-0.

Another pregame move pays off for Kansas City manager Ned Yost, who moved Gordon from sixth in the lineup to the No. 2 spot tonight.

Lorenzo Cain grounds out to third, and that's it for Tim Hudson in his World Series debut. With two left-handed hitters coming up, he's pulled for Javier Lopez.


Jeremy Guthrie is rolling along for the Royals. He's set down 10 straight since Brandon Belt's two-out single in the second inning, although San Francisco hit a couple of balls hard in the fifth that were caught on a line.


Lorenzo Cain makes another sliding grab in right field to end the second, making Royals manager Ned Yost look like a genius for reconfiguring his outfield in Game 3.

Both teams have turned in some nice defensive plays, in fact.


Hudson works out of a second-inning jam with the help of a sliding catch from Travis Ishikawa in left field.

Not necessarily the guy you would expect to make a tough defensive play, but Ishikawa took a big hit away from Salvador Perez.

Jarrod Dyson grounds into an inning-ending double play, and Hudson keeps it a 1-0 game.


Tough start for Tim Hudson.

His first pitch was hit off the base of the wall in the left-field corner by Alcides Escobar for a double. Escobar comes around on a couple of groundouts, and the Royals jump out to a quick lead in Game 3.

Nice job by Lorenzo Cain making sure to get his bat on the ball on a two-strike slider by Hudson, grounding it to shortstop for an RBI.

The 39-year-old Hudson has waited his entire 16-year career to pitch on this stage. So much talk about how happy everyone was, especially his Giants teammates, that he finally gets his chance in the Fall Classic.

Perhaps overlooked a bit is 35-year-old Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie, who attended nearby Stanford.

Guthrie, who has spent 11 years in the majors, is in the postseason for the first time. He allowed one run and three hits over five innings in his only playoff start during the AL Championship Series against Baltimore.

The right-hander looks pretty calm and sharp in the early innings.


Cain gets a good jump on Buster Posey's sinking liner and comes in for a nice catch to end the top of the first.


Getting set for Game 3 as the World Series shifts to San Francisco, where the wind could be a factor tonight.

Royals manager Ned Yost has made some significant changes to his lineup. With no designated hitter allowed in the National League park, Billy Butler is on the bench as expected.

Yost, however, also removed right fielder Nori Aoki from the lineup and inserted speedy Jarrod Dyson in center, with Cain moving from center to right.

Yost said Kansas City needed to field its best defensive alignment in the expansive and tricky outfield at AT&T Park. Makes sense. But without Aoki in the No. 2 hole, Yost had to juggle the batting order.

Alex Gordon, a reliable run producer, moves up from sixth in the lineup to the second spot. Mike Moustakas moves up from ninth to fifth, behind cleanup man Eric Hosmer.

That puts two left-handed batters back-to-back in the middle of the lineup, followed by two right-handers in Omar Infante and Salvador Perez. That could make things easier on Giants manager Bruce Bochy as he utilizes his bullpen later in the game.

Previously, Butler batted fifth and broke up the lefties, one reason Bochy made so many pitching changes during Kansas City's sixth-inning rally in Game 2.

The new lineup does leave the Royals three pretty good bats on the bench in Butler, Aoki and Josh Willingham.

Still, it's interesting that Yost would change the lineup so much with his team playing so well all postseason.

With the Series tied 1-all, the first pitch of Game 3 is coming up in a few minutes.


AT&T Park was packed with fans and pregame festivities as the Royals and Giants got set to play.

There was a tribute to the late Tony Gwynn, plus a video remembrance of the earthquake that rattled Candlestick Park before Game 3 of the 1989 World Series in San Francisco. Bay Area native Huey Lewis called out "Play ball!" on a stadium microphone, and the fan who caught Travis Ishikawa's game-winning homer in the NL Championship Series threw out the first ball to Ishikawa himself.

Taking it all in from behind home plate was Willie Mays, along with other Giants greats.


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