The San Francisco Giants offense broke out in a big way in Game 4 to help the Giants cruise past the Kansas City Royals, 11-4, and even up the World Series at two games apiece. Down by three runs early on, San Francisco chipped away at Kansas City's lead before ultimately blowing the game open in the seventh inning.
After Gregor Blanco scored on Hunter Pence's groundout in the top of the first, the Royals plated four runs in the third inning to grab the lead. Four straight Royals hits, including RBI singles from Eric Hosmer, Omar Infante and Salvador Perez put Kansas City in a good position to take command of the series.
But the Giants battled back, nabbing a run on Buster Posey's RBI hit in the bottom of the third before tying the game in the fifth. Joe Panik led off the inning with a double, chasing Royals starter Jason Vargas, and he later scored on a single from Pence. A Pablo Sandoval single and Brandon Belt walk enabled Juan Perez to drive home the tying run with a sacrifice fly.
An inning later, back-to-back singles from Joaquin Arias and Blanco helped spark another Giants rally. After Panik sacrifice bunted and Posey was intentionally walked, Pablo Sandoval came through with a clutch hit to plate the go-ahead runs. Belt followed with an RBI single of his own, and the Giants blew the game open with four more runs in the seventh to take Game 4.
The Giants come through with runners in scoring position
The Royals came into Game 4 hitting .282/.371/.400 with runners in scoring position during the postseason, while the Giants had experienced far less success in such situations.
San Francisco hit just .237/.338/.360 with RISP prior to Saturday, yet Giants hitters came through when it mattered most in Game 4, most notably on Sandoval's two-run single in the sixth inning that broke open a tie game.
In all, the Giants went 7-for-19 with RISP in Game 4 after hitting just 6-for-23 combined with RISP in the first three games of the World Series.
Petit remains a huge asset for the Giants bullpen
More Game 4
More Game 4
Yusmeiro Petit set a major league record after retiring 46 consecutive batters during the regular season, and he played a big part in San Francisco's win in Game 4. Petit came in to pitch in the fourth inning after Ryan Vogelsong lasted just 2⅔ frames, and the right-hander held the Royals scoreless for three innings, enabling the Giants to climb back into the game.
Petit allowed two hits and struck out two batters, continuing his success this postseason. The Venezuelan native has now pitched 12 innings in the playoffs and hasn't given up an earned run, while surrendering just four hits.
The Giants still haven't lost a postseason game that Vogelsong starts
Vogelsong didn't exactly pitch the Giants to victory in Game 4 (more accurately, they won in spite of him), but San Francisco's playoff success with Vogelsong on the mound continued just the same. The Giants are now 7-0 in postseason games that Vogelsong has started, a streak that began during the 2012 playoffs when the right-hander allowed just three runs in four starts.
Vogelsong has been far shakier this October, having failed to pitch past the fourth inning in two straight outings. Even still, the Giants picked up a huge win, and with Vogelsong unlikely to start another game this series, San Francisco's unbeaten record in postseason games started by Vogelsong will remain intact.
Petit gets rare World Series hit for a reliever
Relief pitchers don't often get to bat, and that is especially true in the playoffs. In fact, Yusmeiro Petit got the first hit for a reliever in a World Series game since Al Leiter in 1993 when he blooped a single into center field in the fourth inning.
In his career, Petit is now 6-for-106 at the plate with 45 strikeouts.