SAN FRANCISCO: Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner delivered another dominant World Series display Sunday (Monday in Manila) as San Francisco beat Kansas City 5-0 to move within one game of winning Major League Baseball’s championship showcase.
The Giants took a commanding three-games-to-two lead in the best-of-seven series, and can wrap up their third title in five years when the 110th World Series shifts to Kansas City on Tuesday (Wednesday) for Game Six.
San Francisco snapped a 56-year title drought in 2010 and won again in 2012.
Game Seven, if necessary, will be on Wednesday in Kansas City, with the Royals hoping they will still be alive to challenge for a se-cond World Series crown.
They are in the post-season for the first time since winning it all in 1985, but have now lost back-to-back games for the first time since September 19 and 20 against Detroit.
Bumgarner has been a key factor in putting the Giants on the cusp of another crown.
The 25-year-old southpaw added to his already impressive post-season resume, becoming the first pitcher to toss a complete game World Series shut-out since Josh Beckett did so for Florida in a clinching game-six win at Yankee Stadium in 2003.
“I’m just happy we won,” said Bumgarner, who gave up four hits and struck out eight without a walk.
Bumgarner beat Royals ace James Shields for the second time in this series—after sparking the Giants to victory in a Game One in which Shields struggled.
Shields improved in this one, giving up two runs on eight hits in six innings, but Sunday was again all about Bumgarner.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he thought about taking Bumgarner out, “but he was throwing too good.”
“He didn’t have any stressful innings,” Bochy said of the pitcher who retired 24 of the last 26 batters he faced—including the last nine.
As in Game Four, the Giants parlayed a relentless barrage of singles into runs.
Eleven of their 12 hits on Sunday were singles, the only exception Juan Perez’s two-run double that just missed clearing the centerfield wall to highlight a three-run outburst in the eighth inning that capped the scoring.
Shortstop Brandon Crawford also drove in a run in the eighth, one of three runs-batted-in for him on the night.
That took the pressure off of Bumgarner in the top of the ninth, and he closed out the contest by retiring three straight batters on 10 pitches as chants of “MVP” rang out.
Bumgarner promptly struck out the next two batters.