Madison Bumgarner tossed seven innings of one-run ball and Hunter Pence went 2-for-3 with a home run to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 7-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.
Bumgarner kept what had been a timely Royals offense completely in check en route to extending his scoreless innings streak in World Series games to 21⅔ frames before surrendering a solo home run to Salvador Perez in the bottom of the seventh. Fortunately for Bumgarner and the Giants, the game was essentially already decided by that point.
Pence hit a two-run home run as part of San Francisco's three-run first inning and later doubled and scored against Royals starter James Shields, who allowed five runs on seven hits in just three innings of work. Pablo Sandoval added the second of two run-scoring hits on a ground-ball single in the seventh after Joe Panik plated the Giants' sixth run with a triple, just the second by a Giants rookie in World Series history.
Bumgarner surrendered just three hits and a walk and struck out five. The 25-year-old left-hander has a 1.40 ERA in five starts this postseason. He's struck out 33 batters and walked only six in 38⅔ innings.
Royals didn't do themselves any favors on offense
Kansas City didn't get many scoring chances against Bumgarner, but its failure to plate a run with the bases loaded in the third inning was fatal.
Bumgarner, to his credit, locked down with no outs and runners on second and third, striking out Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki in consecutive plate appearances. However, Bumgarner loaded the bases by issuing a walk to Lorenzo Cain. Maybe Bumgarner was pitching around Cain to open up a force situation in a left-on-left matchup against Eric Hosmer, but the Royals' first baseman didn't take the time to find out. He swung at the first offering and rolled a weak grounder to second to end the threat.
Shields not Worthy of "Big Name" moniker
A friend of Shields' in the minor leagues gave him the nickname "Big Game James" after former NBA player James Worthy. It's not Shields' fault that he wound up with that moniker, but he's certainly failed to live up to it this postseason. After the Giants beat him up on Tuesday, Shields has now allowed 15 runs on 28 hits in 19 innings spanning four starts.
Pence steps up
Giants fan favorite Hunter Pence sometimes gets a bad rap for being rather unconventional looking on the field, but he's also a three-time All-Star and has a knack for big plays in big situations. He wasn't at his best offensively entering the World Series, notching just 10 hits in 44 plate appearances, but Pence definitely showed up in Game 1. In addition to his first-inning home run and fourth-inning double, Pence drew a pair of walks in what was perhaps the best postseason game of his career.
Sandoval passes Barry Bonds
Per @ESPNStatsInfo, Sandoval now holds Giants postseason record with 17 extra-base hits. Bonds had previous record.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) October 22, 2014