Coming into their first World Series in nearly 30 years, the Kansas City Royals had not lost a game since last month. September 27th to be exact.
And the momentum of a perfect postseason record along with home field advantage was enough for Vegas to slate Kansas City as the slight favorite in the series. Now the question will be whether San Francisco's resounding win in game one at Kauffman Stadium has completely halted the KC momentum that took so long to build up.
Behind another dominant performance by Madison Bumgarner and an offensive explosion, the Giants didn't make the first World Series game in Kansas City in 29 years very fun for the fans. And San Francisco opened up the series with a 7-1 win.
San Fran did not waste any time before jumping on Kansas City starter James Shields in the first inning. Shields, who surrendered a run in two of his three postseason starts coming into Tuesday's game, gave up a hit to Gregor Blanco to start the game. Pablo Sandoval doubled him home before Hunter Pence blasted a two-run home run to deep center field. When the first half inning finally ended, Shields had already given up five hits and three earned runs.
Bumgarner shuts down Royals
That initial burst of offense proved to be all that Madison Bumgarner needed. The Giants' left-handed ace spun his fourth great start of the postseason to get his third win in October. It was also the fifth straight start, dating back to the regular season, where he went at least seven complete innings. Bumgarner kept Kansas City at bay until the game was far out of reach. Salvador Perez hit a relatively meaningless solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to break up a string of 12 straight retired batters by Bumgarner. He recovered to complete the inning by getting the next batter.
While Bumgarner was setting down Royals, the Giants kept putting up runs. San Francisco put up two more runs in the fourth and seventh against the Royals bullpen. Playing from behind all evening, KC never went to their big three relievers of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland. Javier Lopez and Hunter Strickland completed a quiet eighth and ninth inning in the win.
The series resumes on Wednesday when Jake Peavy opposes Yordano Ventura at Kauffman Stadium before the two teams travel to the Bay Area for games three, four and five. First pitch will come just after 8 PM on the East Coast.