One had to expect that the Royals magical run through October would not last. That the Royals would not run the table. However, one likely did not expect that the Royals run would end with a sudden thud, as it did tonight when James Shields imploded in the Kansas City Royals 7-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Shields struggled from the beginning, as the Giants put runners on the corners with one out. Pablo Sandoval doubled down the right field line to plate a run, but Nori Aoki and Omar Infante had a perfect relay to home to cut down the second run at the plate. Just when it seemed that Shields could escape the inning with minimal damage, Hunter Pence crushed a two run shot to dead center to give the Giants a 3-0 lead.
James Shields managed to settle down in the next two innings, keeping the Giants off the board. Meanwhile, the Royals were hitting the ball hard off starter Madison Bumgarner, but right at the defense. It appeared as though the Royals were set to break through in the bottom of the third, as Infante reached on an error and Mike Moustakas doubled down the right field line to put runners at second and third with no outs. Instead, Bumgarner struck out the next two batters. After walking Lorenzo Cain t load the bases, Bumgarner got Eric Hosmer to ground out to end the threat.
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In the top of the fourth, Shields once again began to struggle, allowing a ringing double to Pence, a walk to Brandon Belt and an RBI single to Michael Morse to open the inning. That was all for Shields, as Danny Duffy came in to try to keep the game close. After a sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third, Duffy walked the next two batters to force in a run, giving the Giants a 5-0 lead.
The Giants tacked on two more runs in the top of the seventh, when Nori Aoki misplayed a Joe Panik single into an RBI triple and Sandoval had an RBI single to give the Giants a 7-0 lead. The Royals managed to get a run when Salvador Perez proved that Bumgarner was mortal by hitting a home run. However, it was too late, as the Giants took Game One by a 7-1 score.
James Shields took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk in his three plus innings of work. Cain was the only Royals hitter to reach base more than once, going 0-2 with a walk and reaching by being hit with a pitch.
As painful as this loss may have been, it is important to remember this is just one game. Let’s get Game Two tomorrow night!