Oct 25, 2014 10:04 PM
Royals lead miffed Giants 4-2 early in Game 4
The Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Omar Infante and the Kansas City Royals took advantage of a botched grounder that prompted Giants manager Bruce Bochy to throw his hat, and led San Francisco 4-2 Saturday after three innings in Game 4 of the World Series.
It was lightly raining on and off at AT&T Park as pitcher Jason Vargas and the Royals tried to extend their 2-1 edge. The wet conditions, though, didn't cause San Francisco's most costly slip.
Game 5 is Sunday, with postseason ace Madison Bumgarner starting for the Giants against James Shields. It's a rematch from the opener, when San Francisco rolled 7-1.
The Royals trailed 1-0 when they put runners at the corners with two outs in the third against Ryan Vogelsong. The veteran right-hander got the start when Bochy decided it wasn't prudent to bring back Bumgarner on short rest.
Eric Hosmer hit a slow tapper to the right side. First baseman Brandon Belt ranged far off the bag second baseman Joe Panik was playing back against the lefty-hitting cleanup man and quickly looked to see if he could get a forceout at second.
With no play there, Belt whirled around and tried to toss to Vogelsong. But the pitcher didn't get to the bag cleanly, messed up his footwork and had no chance to prevent Hosmer from reaching with a tying single.
Bochy slammed his cap to the dugout floor, seeing an opportunity to end the inning get away.
Giants fans started to grow uneasy when Mike Moustakas walked to load the bases, and there was good reason for concern. Infante followed with a hard, two-run single up the middle and began clapping on his way to first. The hit made him 10 for 15 lifetime against Vargas, and put the Royals ahead 3-1.
After Salvador Perez blooped an RBI single, Bochy had seen enough. He went to the mound to pull Vogelsong, and Belt dropped his head during the pitching change.
Jean Machi walked Jarrod Dyson, bringing up Vargas.
Earlier in the inning, Vargas hit the Royals' best ball to that point. In his first at-bat since June 2012, the career .262 hitter fouled off a pair of full-count pitches before sending a long drive that center fielder Gregor Blanco caught. A couple of Royals applauded in the dugout for Vargas' solid effort.
This time, with the bases loaded, Vargas ran the count to 2-2. He took another ball, tossed his bat aside and began to jog to first. After several steps, he realized that it was only ball three, froze in a playful stance and returned to the plate.
Leadoff man Alcides Escobar laughed as he handed the bat back to Vargas, who then looked at strike three in making his second out of the inning.
Vargas became the first AL pitcher to bat twice in one inning in a World Series game since Luis Tiant for the Boston Red Sox in 1975. Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum did it during the 2010 Series.
The Giants closed to 4-2 in the bottom half on a two-out single by Buster Posey.
Blanco drew a leadoff walk in the first and hustled to advance when Vargas bounced a wild pitch. Blanco stole third and, after Posey walked, scored as Hunter Pence barely beat out a double-play relay.