KANSAS CITY: Yordano Ventura surrendered only three hits over seven shutout innings and the Kansas City Royals blanked San Francisco 10-0 on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) to force a one-game showdown for the World Series crown.
The Royals tagged the Giants for seven runs on eight hits in the second inning and cruised from there to level Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final at 3-3 and force a title-deciding matchup Wednesday.
Kansas City’s Jeremy Guthrie, the game three winning pitcher, will open against game three loser Tim Hudson in a seventh-game meeting of right-handed starting pitchers.
Ventura, a 23-year-old Dominican rookie right-hander in a must-win situation, silenced Giants batters, striking out four while walking five as San Francisco never had a runner past second base and only two beyond first even as Kansas City batters blasted 15 hits to keep their title bid alive.
The Royals, who ended a 29-year playoff drought and won their first eight post-season games, took their only World Series crown in 1985, rallying to win the final two games at home to defeat St. Louis in seven games.
In eight of the past 10 times a team has returned home trailing the World Series 3-2, as Kansas City did this week, the hosts have won twice to take the title.
The Giants, who seek their eighth overall crown and third title in five seasons, fell to 5-9 in playoff game sixes.
They have led 3-2 in four prior best-of-seven matchups only to lose three times, including the 1924 World Series to the Washington Senators and 2002 World Series to the Anaheim Angels.
The 1997 Florida Marlins are the only team in 10 tries since 1975 that led a World Series 3-2, lost game six and recovered to win the title.
Not since 1936 had the Giants allowed a playoff foe seven runs in one inning but that’s what Kansas City produced in the second.