KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Madison Bumgarner pitched five innings of near-perfect relief and the San Francisco Giants held off the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 7 of the World Series for their third championship in five seasons.
With both starters chased early, this became a matchup of bullpens. And no one stood taller than the 6-foot-5 Bumgarner, who added to his postseason legacy with a third victory this Series.
After center fielder Gregor Blanco misplayed Alex Gordon’s drive for a single and two-base error, Bumgarner got Salvador Perez to pop foul to third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the final out.
The Giants ended a Series streak that had seen home teams win the last nine Game 7s. San Francisco took this pairing of wild-card teams after earning titles in 2012 and 2010.
Pitching on two days’ rest after his shutout in Game 5, Bumgarner entered in the fifth with a 3-2 lead. After giving up a leadoff single to Omar Infante, he shut down the Royals until Gordon’s hit.
Neither manager wanted to be caught waiting too long to make a move and Bruce Bochy pulled Tim Hudson in the second. Jeremy Affeldt relieved and threw 2 1-3 scoreless innings in his longest stint since 2012.
Giants designated hitter Michael Morse drove in two runs, including a go-ahead single in the fourth off Kelvin Herrera. A moment earlier, Royals manager Ned Yost had yanked starter Jeremy Guthrie.
After a Series full of lopsided results, this quickly shaped as something much more tight and tense.
Bochy spent a lot of time on the field. Along with pulling Hudson, Bochy became the first manager to win a video review challenge under Major League Baseball’s expanded replay format.
Eric Hosmer was initially ruled safe by first base umpire Eric Cooper while making a headfirst dive to beat out a double-play relay in the third. But after a review that took 2 minutes, 57 seconds, Hosmer was called out, completing a slick play started by rookie second baseman Joe Panik’s dive and glove flip to shortstop Brandon Crawford.
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