KANSAS CITY -- Maybe it was the passion in the home crowd. Maybe it was more magic from the Royals' bag. Maybe it was the spirit of 1985. Whatever it was, it worked magnificently for the Royals and Yordano Ventura as they forced a Game 7 in the 110th World
KANSAS CITY -- Maybe it was the passion in the home crowd. Maybe it was more magic from the Royals' bag. Maybe it was the spirit of 1985. Whatever it was, it worked magnificently for the Royals and Yordano Ventura as they forced a Game 7 in the 110th World Series.
Ventura pitched seven shutout innings, giving up just three hits, and Kansas City scored early and often as the Royals rambled to a 10-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants in Game 6 on Tuesday night with 40,372 revved-up fans at Kauffman Stadium. So it will be winner-take-all on Wednesday (6 p.m. CT air time on FOX; 7:07 first pitch) as the Royals seek their second World Series championship and the Giants their eighth.
Noise seemed to reach a new level of intensity in the first inning, after Lorenzo Cain tracked down Joe Panik's bid for extra bases, with booming chants of "Let's Go, Royals!" But the crowd eclipsed even that in the Royals' second inning, a seven-run joyride against pitchers Jake Peavy and Yusmeiro Petit.
"We'll take any win possible right now. Close, blowout, it doesn't matter," Cain said. "We came out swinging and we definitely needed everyone in the lineup to step up. 'Ace' [Ventura] did an outstanding job on the bump. He went out there and he was lights-out. We need to swing the bats and have another outstanding outing from our starting pitcher tomorrow."
And the roar that was shaking the stadium?
"Did you see that crowd? Our crowd was absolutely electric," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's been like that for us. Our guys have really felt the energy coming from the stands and it just gives you a boost."
These are some possible omens those Royals fans will enjoy knowing:
• The home team has won each of the last nine World Series Game 7s, dating back to 1982.
• The last road team to win a Game 7 was the 1979 Pirates against the Orioles. The 1975 Reds are the last road team to bounce back and win a Game 7 after not closing out a Series in Game 6 (vs. Red Sox).
• The Giants are 0-4 in winner-take-all World Series games. The Royals are 1-0 (in 1985, of course).
"You hope the percentages continue to go in that direction," said the Royals' Eric Hosmer, "but you know it's going be an exciting game, one to remember, and everybody is ready for it."
HOW THE ROYALS WON THE GAME
Eight of the first nine batters got hits and the Royals matched the 2001 D-backs (Game 6) as the only World Series teams to get hits from all nine players in the first three innings of a game.
Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez each singled to lead off the second and Mike Moustakas doubled just over first base for the first run. Omar Infante struck out, but Alcides Escobar, on a bouncer to Brandon Belt, dodged past him to first base for a bases-loading single.
Belt anticipated a possible play at the plate but Perez held third.
"When I hit the ball and he was looking to home plate and I was running hard, I said 'I'm going to beat this guy and be safe at first,'" Escobar said. He was.
Nori Aoki followed with an RBI single to left and Peavy was replaced by Petit.
"We were making Peavy work, we were making him throw it in the strike zone," Billy Butler said. "He likes to throw a slider down in the zone and get some chases and nibble at the corners -- just make us work. And we kind of reversed it on him. We were making him come in the strike zone ... and we decided to just swing at strikes."
Cain blooped a two-run single into right and Hosmer blooped a two-run double into left. Then Butler got the longest hit of the inning, an RBI to the right-center wall and it was 7-0.
THE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ventura dedicates game to Taveras: Ventura was deeply saddened by the loss of his friend, Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras, in Sunday's tragic car accident and dedicated his shutout effort to him.
"From the minute that I found out about Oscar, I said this game was going to be dedicated to him," Ventura said.
He also brought the flag of the Dominican Republic, their home country, to the news conference after the game.
"I prepared myself mentally and physically for this game and I'm very proud to be a Dominican and that's why I brought the flag," said Ventura.
Cain puts on the brakes: Cain, after a two-out walk in the first inning, was churning toward third on Hosmer's single when novice left fielder Travis Ishikawa slipped and lost his balance. Third-base coach Mike Jirschele was frantically waiving Cain to the plate, but Cain instead stopped as Ishikawa threw the ball in toward second base.
Butler bounced into the third out and it was a case of a run wasted. Not to worry, though, because the Royals bounced back in their seven-run second with Cain contributing a two-run single.
A Moose call after this ball: Moustakas put the Royals at the 10-run mark when he led off the seventh inning with a home run to right.
"Moooooose!" calls were sounded for Moustakas' first World Series homer and the Royals' third of the series.
"It feels good," Moustakas said. "I'd rather trade it for a World Series ring any day."
UNSUNG HEROES: FRASOR, COLLINS
After Ventura finished his seven-inning effort, a 10-run lead meant that the backend of the Royals' bullpen could rest. So Jason Frasor and Tim Collins each pitched a scoreless inning to complete the shutout.
Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland watched appreciatively.
"Days off are amazing!" Herrera said.
Holland relished watching Ventura during his down time. Especially impressive was when, after the long second inning, Ventura walked the bases loaded and escaped by getting Buster Posey to rap into a double play.
"It's been really enjoyable to watch him throw," Holland said. "He doesn't get rattled."
ONE FOR THE HISTORY BOOKS
Moustakas' home run was the sixth given up by Hunter Strickland in this year's postseason play, a record. The previous record was five homers by Milwaukee's Chris Narveson in the 2011 postseason.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was the Royals' third shutout in their postseason history. They beat Toronto, 2-0, in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, and St. Louis, 11-0, in Game 7 of the World Series, both in 1985. The pitchers were Danny Jackson and Bret Saberhagen, respectively.
When scoring first in this postseason, the Royals are 7-0. When Ventura pitches, the Royals are 5-0, but this was his first victory.
Moustakas' fifth homer is a new high for a Royal in the postseason. The old mark was Willie Aikens' four in 1980.
Game 7 will decide the 110th World Series, the first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. CT/8:07 p.m. ET with FOX TV coverage beginning at 6 CT/7 ET. The Royals will start Jeremy Guthrie and the Giants will go with Tim Hudson, a Game 3 rematch.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com.