For a World Series without home-run glitz, the Royals and Giants have found creative ways to score runs.
In San Francisco, the Giants skipped some balls off the wet infield and doinked a few others to get rallies started.
The Royals returned the favor in their 10-0 victory in Game 6 on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.
Oh, the Royals barreled up a few. Billy Butler, back in the lineup after a single plate appearance in San Francisco, crushed a double. So did Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar. Finally, Mike Moustakas found the stands.
But much of the team’s production came in a way that seemed, well, typical of the Royals in 2014, and they maxed out in a seven-run, eight-hit second inning.
Alex Gordon got it started with a soft single off starter Jake Peavy for only his third hit of the series. A solid Salvador Perez single got Gordon to third, and he scored the game’s first run when Moustakas grounded a ball down the first-base line that got through when Brandon Belt seemed late to react.
Alcides Escobar then hit a chopper to Belt. Peavy didn’t race over to cover first, so after a slight hesitation to see whether Perez hadn’t started for home, Belt had to race Escobar for a tag, and Escobar won with a slide.
“Belt was checking the runner at third, but there wasn’t a lot of speed there,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He waited just a hair too long. You’ve got a pretty fast runner going down the line.
“I thought that changed that inning. Peavy was throwing the ball well. If he gets an out there, it does change the inning, and he’s got a better chance of getting out of it.”
After Nori Aoki’s slap single to right — his first World Series hit — drove in a run, Cain’s bloop single to right drove in two to make it 4-0.
Eric Hosmer then supplied the game’s most bizarre moment. He called timeout. But pitcher Yusmeiro Petit went through with his delivery. Hosmer took a hack and singled up the middle. It didn’t count, of course.
“The crowd was so loud the umpire could barely hear me call time,” Hosmer said. “And I couldn’t hear him give me time.
“I was one of those things where you don’t want to take a fastball down the middle, and not know he didn’t give you time.”
Hosmer missed his chance for a single. Instead, he bounced one hard off the dirt, and the ball bounded into left-center, placed perfectly for him to slide into second with what amounted to a Royals record hit.
“I’m glad a got a hit there,” Hosmer said. “It would have been a tough at-bat to swallow if I hadn’t.”
Butler’s double capped the biggest inning in Royals postseason history. It happened without a home run, or what would have been more likely, a stolen base. Dink, dribble, hustle, an occasional hard shot and score. That’s been the Royals way all season, and it has gotten them to a World Series Game 7.
The game’s exclamation point was provided by Moustakas, who drove a solo home run into right-center in the seventh. The previous 34 runs of the World Series were scored without a home run.
For the Royals, they came in the usual way.