KANSAS CITY Missouri (Reuters) - The Kansas City Royals got an inspired outing from pitcher Yordano Ventura and woke from their hitting slumber to rout the San Francisco Giants 10-0 and send the World Series to a decisive Game Seven on Tuesday.
After a 162-game regular season and three rounds of postseason, the Major League Baseball championship will come down to one game with the Giants chasing a third title in five years and the Royals looking to end a 29-year drought.
The Royals entered the contest trailing the best-of-seven-series 3-2 and had not scored a run in 15 innings.
But Kansas City batters rediscovered their groove in the second inning of Game Six, exploding for seven runs on eight hits to chase Giants starter Jake Peavy after just 1-1/3 innings and set the stage for a comprehensive rout.
“Guys stepped up in a big way tonight. We felt we just had to get it done, find any way possible to get on base and drive in runs,” said Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who contributed a pair of hits and three RBIs to the Kansas cause.
Game Seven is Wednesday in Kansas City.
Before the end of the third inning every member of the Royals starting line up had at least one hit with Mike Moustakas leading the hit parade with a double and a home run.
In contrast, San Francisco bats went quiet with inspired Royals rookie Yordano Ventura pitching seven shutout innings.
The 23-year-old Dominican fireballer sported hand-written tributes on his cap, glove and shoes to honor compatriot Oscar Taveras, the St. Louis Cardinals outfielder who was killed in a car accident on Sunday.
The grieving Ventura was brilliant, allowing just three hits in a game in which the Royals faced possible elimination.
“I want to thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity, and this game was dedicated to Oscar Taveras, my good friend,” the 23-year-old Ventura, who carried a Dominican flag into the interview room, said through a translator.
“It’s a little emotional for us.”
Royals manager Ned Yost said it was a special effort.
“You got a 23-year-old kid in the biggest game this stadium has seen in 29 years and our backs against the wall and he goes out there in complete command of his emotions ... and throws seven shutout innings,” Yost told reporters.
“You can’t get in a bigger stage then he was on tonight and to perform the way that he did tonight was just special.”
Moustakas sparked the second inning burst with a double down the right field line that cashed in Alex Gordon with the game’s first run.
Nori Aoki singled to left driving in a second run and leaving the bases loaded to bring Peavy’s night to a quick end. The right-hander surrendered five runs on six hits.
The pitching change did nothing to slow down the rampaging Royals, Cain welcoming reliever Yusmeiro Petit with a bases-loaded bloop to center field that scored two more runs.
Eric Hosmer added to the assault with a high-hopping bouncer over the shortstop’s head that went for a two-run double before Billy Butler capped off the big inning with a booming RBI double to whip the capacity crowd into a frenzy.
“When you get an inning like that going in front of your home crowd it’s pretty cool to be a part of,” Gordon said. “The dugout was rocking and the fans were, too.”
The Royals, however, were not yet done. Cain added an RBI double in the bottom of the third, Alcides Escobar fired another run-scoring double in the fifth and Moustakas cracked a solo home run in the seventh.
Moustakas said the team got a definite boost from the home crowd.
“Twenty-nine years for these people has been a long time,” the third baseman said.
“We’re excited to give this city something to cheer about.”
Editing by Nick Mulvenney