Bumgarner Leads Giants to Championship
KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) — Very few players have dominated a World Series in the manner Madison Bumgarner just displayed in leading the San Francisco Giants to their third championship in five years.
Bumgarner capped his MVP performance by giving up just two hits over five shutout innings to close out the Giants' 3-2 win over the Royals in Game 7 of the Fall Classic in Kansas City. He gave up a single to Omar Infante leading off the bottom of the fifth, then retired his next 14 batters to get within one out of the title.
Bumgarner's streak ended when center fielder Gregor Blanco misplayed Alex Gordon's single to put the potential tying run on third base with Salvador Perez coming up. Perez was hitting a team-high .348 in the series until Bumgarner got him to pop up in foul territory, where Pablo Sandoval grabbed it before falling backward onto the turf in celebration.
Sandoval was no slouch at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Michael Morse had two RBIs, including the tiebreaking single in the fourth inning. Hunter Pence had two hits to finish the series with a .444 average, slightly better than Sandoval's .429.
But there was no denying who earned the MVP trophy. Bumgarner's five shutout innings of relief came just three days after he tossed a four-hit shutout in the Giants' 5-0 victory in Game 5. He went 2-0 with a save and a 0.43 ERA, allowing just nine hits allowed in 21 innings against the Royals. The lefty is now 5-0 with a microscopic 0.25 ERA in five career appearances in World Series play, allowing a mere one run in 36 innings.
Winning pitcher Jeremy Affeldt tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Together, Affeldt and Bumgarner combined to limit the Royals to three hits in 7 1/3 innings. The win initially was credited to Bumgarner, but official scorers reversed that decision after the game and gave the win to Affeldt, who was still in the game when the Giants took the lead and had pitched effectively. .
Both starting pitchers were lifted early. Giants starter Tim Hudson was yanked in the second, charged with two runs and three hits. The 39-year-old Hudson became the oldest pitcher to start a Game 7 of a World Series. Losing pitcher Jeremy Guthrie came out in the fourth, surrendering three runs and four hits in 3 1/3 innings.
It marks the first time the road team has won Game 7 of a World Series since the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates. The Giants had been 0-4 in deciding seventh games of Fall Classics, losing in 2002, 1962, 1924 and 1912.