GAME 1: Giants 7, Royals 1
Kansas City came into the World Series having won all eight of its postseason games this year, the Royals’ first trip to the playoffs since 1985. Playing at home, the Royals certainly had plenty going for them in Game 1. But Hunter Pence quickly quieted the blue throng by crushing a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Giants a 3-0 lead. That was more than enough for Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, who scattered three hits over seven innings. The only run he allowed was a homer to Salvador Perez, who snapped Bumgarner’s Major League Baseball-record streak of 32²/³ scoreless innings on the road in the postseason. It was also the first run he allowed in 21 World Series innings.
GAME 2: Royals 7, Giants 2
Gregor Blanco hit the 10th leadoff homer in World Series history and first in Giants history, but after a Game 1 blowout, this game settled into a taught affair that was 2-2 entering the sixth inning. But that is where things unraveled for the Giants. Starter Jake Peavy allowed the first two Royals to reach and that began a march of four other Giants taking the mound in the inning — tying the Series record for most pitchers in an inning — capped by a messy incident. Rookie Hunter Strickland surrendered a two-run homer to Omar Infante that gave the Royals a 7-2 lead. Strickland, who was tagged for his fifth postseason homer, ended up in a shouting match with Salvador Perez. Benches cleared, but no punches were thrown.
GAME 3: Royals 3, Giants 2
With a spectacular scene on the shores of McCovey Cove, the World Series returned to AT&T Park. The Giants turned to Tim Hudson, a 16-year veteran who was making his first World Series appearance. The usually unflappable right-hander was a little shaky in the first two innings, with the Royals scoring once in the first inning. From there, Hudson and ex-Stanford star Jeremy Guthrie were locked into a pitcher’s duel going into the sixth inning. Hudson yielded a run-scoring double to Alex Gordon, which prompted manager Bruce Bochy to play matchups and call on left-handed reliever Javier Lopez to face lefty-hitting Eric Hosmer, who made it 3-0 with an RBI single. The Giants countered with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
GAME 4: Giants 11, Royals 4
Trailing in the series for the first time in their three trips to the Fall Classic in five years, the Giants were leading 1-0 before the Royals erupted for four runs off Ryan Vogelsong in the third inning, quieting a rambunctious AT&T Park crowd. After getting one run back in the bottom of the third, something started to click with the Giants’ bats. They scored twice in the fifth, three times in the sixth and four more in the seventh. In all, the Giants pounded out 16 hits (they had 13 hits combined in the first three games), with Hunter Pence going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Pablo Sandoval delivering the go-ahead two-run single in the sixth. Meanwhile, the Giants’ bullpen kept the Royals silent to even the Series 2-2.
GAME 5: Giants 5, Royals 0
If you were to put a movie title on this game, it would be “The Legend of Madison Bumgarner.” The Giants’ ace etched his name in World Series lore by pitching a four-hit shutout, the first Fall Classic shutout by a pitcher since Josh Beckett’s effort in 2003 clinched the title in Game 6 against the New York Yankees. He didn’t walk anyone — the first Series shutout with no walks since the Royals’ Bret Saberhagen in 1985 — and struck out eight. It lowered his World Series career ERA to 0.29 — the best in baseball history. The bulk of the Giants’ offense came from the bottom part of the order, with No. 8 hitter Brandon Crawford driving in three runs and light-hitting reserve Juan Perez crushing a ball off the top of the wall in left-center for the other two runs.
GAME 6: Royals 10, Giants 0
Looking to clinch their third World Series title in five years, the Giants traveled to Kansas City and had veteran Jake Peavy, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox and was a key performer late in the regular season, on the mound. But Peavy was unable to escape the second inning as the Royals dinked and dunked their way to a seven-run second inning that left both teams looking toward Game 7. The big second inning also featured Giants first baseman Brandon Belt getting caught between looking a runner back and third and then getting to first late on a chopper by Alcides Escobar. The Giants’ offense was shut down by Royals rookie Yordano Ventura, who allowed three hits over seven innings.
GAME 7: Giants 3, Royals 2
With the bullpen full and all hands on deck, the question was when, not if, manager Bruce Bochy would call on Giants ace Madison Bumgarner, who had already established himself as the best player of the entire playoffs with a workload unlike any other pitcher in a single postseason. Starter Tim Hudson, looking for a storybook finish to his first World Series appearance in his 16-year career, couldn’t get out of the second inning as the Royals matched the Giants’ two runs in the top of the inning. After Jeremy Affeldt’s 2¹/³ shutout innings, Bochy called on Bumgarner and the big left-hander delivered a performance for the record books. He pitched five shutout innings, allowing two hits, to earn a save and take the World Series MVP award. Michael Morse snapped a 2-2 tie with a fourth-inning single.