San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) – The San Francisco Giants delivered plenty of big hits to tie the World Series.
Big blows? Didn’t see many of those, but these Giants are used to winning any way they can.
Pablo Sandoval knocked in the go-ahead runs with a single in the sixth inning on Saturday night and the Giants scored seven unanswered runs in an 11-4 win over the Kansas City Royals in Game 4.
The Giants tied the best-of-seven series at 2-2 going into Sunday, when they will send Madison Bumgarner to the mound in a rematch of Game 1, when their ace threw seven innings in a 7-1 win over the Royals and their ace, James Shields.
The Giants, seeking their third World Series title in five years, had 16 hits, including 13 singles. Joe Panik hit two of their three doubles, driving in two runs. Hunter Pence also doubled and finished with three hits and three RBI and Gregor Blanco singled twice and scored three times.
Even reliever Yusmeiro Petit (1-0), who threw three scoreless innings for the win, contributed to the total, becoming the first relief pitcher in 23 years with a hit in the World Series.
“Everybody did something to contribute,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
Omar Infante had a two-run single in a four-run third inning for the Royals, who won the previous two games, including a 3-2 victory in San Francisco on Friday.
The Giants took the lead with — what else? — a bunch of singles, including two in a row from Joaquin Arias and Gregor Blanco off Brandon Finnegan (0-1) to start the sixth.
Sandoval later delivered his bases-loaded hit to knock in the go-ahead runs, and Brandon Belt added an RBI single to make it 7-4.
They were the fourth and fifth two-out hits in the game for the Giants, who didn’t allow the Royals to get to their vaunted late-inning bullpen trio of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland.
In the seventh, Brandon Crawford’s leadoff single sparked a four-run rally to put the game out of reach. Blanco’s RBI stroke gave the Giants 13 singles in their first 14 hits before doubles broke it open. Panik’s second double made it to the left-center field gap, scoring two, and Pence doubled down the line to give the Giants their 11-4 lead.
“We got our tails whipped today, but, you know, it’s Game 4 of the World Series, we’re tied 2-2. How much more fun can that be?” said Royals manager Ned Yost.
“There’s nothing better in the world. I’ve never felt so good about getting my tail whipped.”
The Giants delivered enough singles to make Pete Rose blush, but scored their first run when Pence beat out a throw to first base in the first inning to break up what would have been a double play.
The Royals, too, scratched out runs, beating out two throws at first base during a two-out, four-run rally in the third inning. The inning could have been over with only a run on the board, but Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong had trouble covering first base after trying to field Eric Hosmer’s grounder.
Hosmer was safe, and Infante delivered a two-run single up the middle to give the Royals the lead. Salvador Perez followed with an RBI hit to make it 4-1 and chase Vogelsong from the game after just 2 2/3 innings.
Bochy appeared upset in the dugout when Vogelsong didn’t reach first in time to get Hosmer, but said later he “just felt for” his starter.
“The guy was making great pitches and we couldn’t get that last out,” said Bochy. “I think if he gets out of that inning he has a nice game for us.”
Buster Posey’s RBI single in the bottom of the third drew the Giants within 4-2 and Panik knocked Royals starter Jason Vargas out of the game with a leadoff double in the fifth.
Pence hit an RBI single off Jason Frasor and later scored on Juan Perez’s bases-loaded liner to center field. Jarrod Dyson made a diving catch on the play, preventing any more runs from scoring and keeping the game tied at 4-4.
Vogelsong didn’t get a win, but the Giants remained unbeaten in his six career postseason starts, including Game 3 of the 2012 World Series against Detroit.
The Royals lost for the first time in Vargas’ three starts this postseason. The left-hander won Game 4 against the Orioles in the AL Championship Series to help the Royals make the World Series for the first time since 1985.
Posey’s RBI single in the third inning gave him 21 postseason RBI, tying Barry Bonds for most in franchise history … Petit became the first relief pitcher with a hit in the World Series since Toronto’s Al Leiter in 1993 and the first to do it for the Giants since Slick Castleman in 1936 … Little League World Series star Mo’Ne Davis threw out the first pitch, tossing a strike from atop the mound … Guitar great Carlos Santana played “The Star- Spangled Banner” alongside his son, keyboardist Salvador … Bryan Stow, the lifelong Giants fan who suffered brain damage when he was beaten by two men outside Dodger Stadium, declared “Play ball!” from his wheelchair before the game. In a statement, his mother said it would be the first World Series game her son would remember since the 2011 attack … The Royals claimed outfielder Moises Sierra off waivers from the Chicago White Sox and designated right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks for assignment.