Royals hold off Giants to take Series lead

Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:02am EDT
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By Larry Fine

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Kansas City Royals followed their formula for success to perfection turning a tight game over to their "monstrous" bullpen to beat the San Francisco Giants on Friday and seize the upper hand in the World Series.

After each team claimed a lopsided win in the first two games of the best-of-seven, Game Three was a 3-2 nailbiter that gave the visitors a 2-1 lead in the series.

The pivotal victory was preserved by four hitless innings thrown by Royals relievers.

"Monstrous," Royals manager Ned Yost said in describing the firepower he is able to call on in the late innings.

"The key factor in all of this for us is timely hitting, great defense, really solid starting pitching, but dynamic back of the bullpen."

Of the previous 56 times a Fall Classic has been tied 1-1, the team that has won Game Three has gone on to win the Major League Baseball championship two-thirds of the time.

Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie pitched five shutout innings before wobbling in the sixth and turning the game over to the bullpen brigade.

Unbeaten through the post-season until they lost the first game of the World Series at home on Tuesday, the upstart Royals have produced back-to-back wins and could take command of the series in Saturday's Game Four in San Francisco.   Continued...

Oct 24, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals infielders Mike Moustakas (8) and Eric Hosmer (35) celebrate after defeating the San Francisco Giants during game three of the 2014 World Series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports