On this date in 2014, the Kansas City Royals played their first World Series game in nearly 29 years. Relive the moment the Fall Classic and the San Francisco Giants came to Kauffman Stadium.
(Editor’s note: This is one of several on-this-date posts that KoK will publish throughout the 2017 postseason. They will highlight the postseason success of the Kansas City Royals over the years with particular emphasis given to 2014 and 2015—given the strong ties to the current squad.)
The Kansas City Royals entered the 2014 World Series with a world of momentum. (Insert laughing.) There was a downside to the team sweeping through the playoffs with a Wild Card Game win over the Athletics, three straight victories over the Angels and a four-game sweep of the Orioles.
It meant the team had almost a week between its ALCS Game 4 win and the opening game of the World Series. That layoff seemed to show up in Game 1 against fellow wild card team San Francisco.
How it Happened
James Shields and the Kansas City Royals could not have gotten off to a much worse start. In the top of the first inning, Gregor Blanco and Buster Posey singled to put runners on the corner with one out. In a sign of things to come, Pablo Sandoval came through with a big hit. His RBI-double scored Blanco, but Posey got thrown out at home.
It wasn’t a smart gamble by the Giants, as Hunter Pence followed with a two-run homer for a quick 3-0 lead. After San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third inning, the Giants tacked on another couple of runs against Shields.
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Pence and Brandon Belt reached to open the fourth. Michael Morse brought in Pence with an RBI-single, which forced Ned Yost to turn to Danny Duffy. The future Kansas City Royals ace walked a pair to force in a run, but Duffy escaped further damage.
The visitors added some unnecessary insurance in the seventh inning. Joe Panik tripled home Blanco to end Duffy’s night. Sandoval extended the lead to 7-0 with his run-scoring single.
Meanwhile, after his third-inning scare, Bumgarner mowed down 11 straight Royals before Salvador Perez hit a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh. However, that would be all the team would manage, as Javier Lopez and Hunter Strickland each tossed 1-2-3 innings to close out the six-run victory.
What it Meant Moving Forward
Behind a solid Yordano Ventura and a five-run sixth inning, the Kansas City Royals evened the series in Game 2. The Boys in Blue also hung on for a 3-2 win in Game 3. However, the Giants won the final two games in San Francisco.
The series shifted back to Kansas City for the final two games of the series. But we’ll discuss that when the anniversary of those games come.