Bummer! Bumgarner, Giants win World Series over Royals - KCTV5

Bummer! Bumgarner, Giants win World Series over Royals

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A Kansas City Royals fan watches batting practice before Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the San Francisco Giants Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) A Kansas City Royals fan watches batting practice before Game 7 of baseball's World Series against the San Francisco Giants Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner celebrates after Giants beat Royals in Game 7 of the World Series at Kauffman Giants ace Madison Bumgarner celebrates after Giants beat Royals in Game 7 of the World Series at Kauffman

Stellar relief pitching by San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner lead the team to a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in Game 7 of the World Series. This is the team's third World Series win since 2010.

The Giants ended up winning four of the seven games in the series, including the last one at Kauffman Stadium. Bumgarner who started and won two games made a historic relief appearance to seal Game 7. He would pitch five innings of near-perfect relief Wednesday night and get the save.

Former Royals player Jeremy Affeldt was credited with the win.

Royals manager Ned Yost said the loss hurt, and he never would have imagined that Bumgarner would pitch so many innings of relief. He congratulated the Giants on their win, and said his players did something incredibly special this season.

"It hurts, you know, to come as close as we came in a one run game," Yost said, "and to really as magical as our run has been to end up losing the ballgame by 90 feet is tough."

With Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie and Giants starter Tim Hudson 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.

Punctuating one of the finest October performances in baseball history, Bumgarner pitched in relief on two days rest.

A two-out misplay in the ninth almost wrecked it for Bumgarner and the Giants. He had retired 14 in a row when Alex Gordon's single fell in front of center fielder Gregor Blanco, who let the ball get past him for an error that allowed Gordon to reach third.

Bumgarner, however, retired Salvador Perez on a foulout to third baseman Pedro Sandoval. The big left-hander was immediately embraced by catcher Buster Posey, and the rest of the Giants rushed to the mound to join the victory party. Most of the San Francisco players tossed their gloves high in the air as they ran to the center of the diamond.

Three days after throwing 117 pitches in a four-hit shutout to win Game 5, Bumgarner threw 68 more and dropped his record-low career Series ERA to a barely visible 0.25.

Arizona ace Randy Johnson (2001) remains the only pitcher in the expansion era to win three games in one Series. Bumgarner won two games and gets credited with a save.

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.

Home teams had won nine straight Game 7s in the Series since Pittsburgh's victory at Baltimore in 1979, including the Royals' 11-0 rout of St. Louis in 1985. Teams hosting the first two games had won 23 of the last 28 titles, including five in a row. And the Giants had lost all four of their previous World Series pushed to the limit.

But before a pumped-up, blue-and-white-clad crowd of 40,535 that hoped noise and passion could lift the small-market Royals to a title that seemed improbable when Kansas City was languishing two games under .500 in mid-July, the Giants won the second all-wild card World Series, 12 years after losing Game 7 to the Angels in the first.

Bumgarner threw 117 pitches in a 4-hit shutout in Game 5 on Sunday. 

Bumgarner entered in the fifth on Wednesday night 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 Hudson in the second. 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 Guthrie.

After a Series of five games with 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.

The crowd noise at The K was constant and loud. The fans cheered when Billy Butler singled and hustled home on a double by Gordon, and booed when Perez was hit in the leg and knocked to the dirt -- that all happened in a span of three pitches.

Small ball was the story early, with three sacrifice flies in the second inning alone. Morse drove in Sandoval with the bases loaded and no outs, and Crawford drove in Hunter Pence with another fly to make it 2-0.

The Royals rallied back fast. After Infante's sacrifice fly tied it at 2, Alcides Escobar singled with two outs and that was all for Hudson.

At 39, Hudson was the oldest pitcher to start Game 7 in the Series. He had signed with the Giants in the offseason as a free agent, hoping to reach the World Series for the first time, and maybe win a championship. This was his chance and instead, he had the shortest start in Game 7 of a Series since Bob Turley of the Yankees lasted only one inning against Pittsburgh in 1960.

San Francisco has made a line-up change inserting Juan Perez in left field for Travis Ishikawa. Perez was considered a defensive improvement over Ishikawa who is primarily a first baseman. And Perez made catches and plays that caused many to say the move helped make a difference.

Before the game, something happened that caught the attention of both teams.

As the Royals were taking batting practice and the Giants were stretching beyond their dugout, a person wearing white formal gloves, and accompanied by a security guard, carried the gleaming, gold-and-silver World Series trophy across the grass behind the cage.

The prize was probably headed to a safe spot, waiting to be presented to the winner. Players on both sides watched the procession and some pointed, but no one dared jinx themselves by touching it.

Royals great George Brett, now a team executive, wandered over to a cluster of Giants and greeted some of them. Pence smiled and seemed to enjoy the moment.

Among those watching from near the backstop was Jack Morris. Hard to think about a Game 7 and not remember him.

Morris gave one of the greatest pitching performances of all-time, throwing a 10-hit shutout in 1991 to lead Minnesota over Atlanta 1-0 at the Metrodome.

"Game 7s don't come around very often. We're all hoping for them," said Morris, now a broadcaster.

When his time came, Morris was prepared.

"I knew what it meant, and I was ready to pitch," he said. "I wasn't nervous. I was confident."

"That's how it should be. Every fielder should want the ball. Every hitter should want to be at the plate," he said.

Bret Saberhagen, who pitched a Game 7 shutout in 1985 to give Kansas City its only crown, threw out the first ball. Soon after, the game began after another stumble with the national anthem.

Opera star and longtime Royals fan Joyce DiDonato did a stellar job singing "The Star-Spangled Banner," but tripped and fell in the batter's box while walking off the field.

Before Game 5 in San Francisco, county singer Aaron Lewis messed up the lyrics to the anthem and later apologized for the mistake.

Both before and after the game, Yost praised the Royals fans.

"They're just so excited that we're here. They've waited a long, long time for this opportunity and to enjoy this type of playoff atmosphere with this organization, and they're taking full advantage of it," Yost said during his afternoon news conference.

And he's confident about the Royals chances, saying the players will feed off the fans' enthusiasm and get an adrenaline boost.

"Our guys are really, really loose," he said. "I've got a very, very good feeling about this."

He just didn't anticipate a bum rush.

AP Baseball Writer Ben Walker contributed to this report. 

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