A best-of-seven series has now become a best-of-three. Before it turns back to Kansas City, the San Francisco Giants have the chance retake the lead in the World Series against the City Royals in Sunday’s Game 5 at AT&T Park.
Royals starter James Shields will get another opportunity against a Giants lineup that tagged him for five earned runs and a loss in Game 1, while San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner looks to extend his scintillating postseason run. The Giants ace surrendered one run and only three hits to Kansas City to open the series, and is now 3-1 in five starts with a 1.40 ERA this postseason.
And as Bumgarner retakes the mound, he’ll have a rejuvenated Giants lineup backing him up. After dropping two straight and their offense seemingly in peril, the Giants finally got to the Royals bullpen and stormed back with nine runs between the fifth and seventh innings in Game 4 to knot the series 2-2. San Francisco right fielder Hunter Pence went 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored to up his average in the series to a team-best .467.
It was Pence and third baseman Pablo Sandoval that led the Giants comeback from a 4-1 deficit, and charged seven earned runs to a Royals pen that hadn’t given up any in the previous three games.
In turn the Giants pen completely shut out the Royals over 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts, and Yusmeiro Petit picked up his third straight victory of these playoffs.
Other than their four-run tear in the third inning, the Royals offense paled in comparison to the squad that handily took Games 2 and 3. Catcher Salvador Perez looked as sharp as ever with three hits off four at-bats, but as a team the Royals struck out seven times and could only muster two walks. They also left nine men on base.
Starter Jason Vargas only lasted four innings, but Kansas City manager Ned Yost was able to hold back his top relievers in Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis. With two days of rest, that triumvirate could quickly spell the Royals woes from Game 4.
Start Time: 8:07 p.m. EST
TV Channel: FOX
Live Online: A stream is on MLB.TV here
Game 5 Prediction: San Francisco 3-2