The San Francisco Giants came roaring back Saturday, pounding the Kansas City Royals 11-4 before a thundering crowd at AT&T Park in Game 4 of the World Series.
The Giants Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval led the team and charged up the crowd to tie the series at two apiece. Pence got three hits, drove in three runs, scored twice and made a nimble sliding catch in right field in the ninth.
The win forces the contest to go at least to Game 6 on Tuesday at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City. But not till the teams meet again in San Francisco on Sunday, with Madison Bumgarner starting for the Giants against James Shields for the Royals.
Giants scored in the first inning when Gregor Blanco walked, took second on a wild pitch by starter Jason Vargas, stole third and came home on a Pence grounder.
The Royals answered in the third inning with all four of their runs, scoring on five singles and running through their entire lineup to begin and end with Vargas. The score, 4-1 Royals.
The Associated Press describes one of the lightest moments for the Royals:
“The inning ended on a comic note when Vargas started jogging toward first base after taking a third ball from Jean Machi with the bases loaded. After getting almost halfway down the line, Vargas realized that it was only ball three, froze in a playful stance and returned to the plate.
“The Royals laughed in the dugout about Vargas’ brain freeze and he took strike three on the next pitch to end the inning. There wasn’t much else to laugh about for Kansas City on this night.”
You can glimpse Vargas’ embarrassing moment at SB Nation.
For the rest of the game, it was nothing but Giants, as the Royals’ famous bench fell short. Giants scored once in the bottom of the third and twice in the fifth on a Sandoval single to tie the game at four each.
They hammered the Royals with three runs on four hits in the sixth inning and four runs with four hits in the seventh.
“You might want to clear your calendar through Wednesday evening,” writes Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News. “The 2014 World Series shows every sign of going the distance.”
Little League phenom Mo’ne Davis threw out the ceremonial first pitch. After pitching a shutout in the Little League World Series, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and starring in a commercial that’s airing during the Giants-Royals series, the first pitch was no stretch for the 13-year-old.
She wound up and launched a perfect strike to Giants backup catcher Andrew Susac.
“Just to be at the World Series is pretty cool,” Davis said. “If I didn’t throw a strike, I don’t know what I would do. Throwing a strike was probably the best part.”
Game 5 starts at 8 p.m. ET; it’s being televised by Fox. MLB.com has a full schedule of games.