Giants starter Jake Peavy walked a tightrope in the first inning Tuesday as he escaped a two-on, two-out jam by getting Billy Butler to ground out.
At that point, he still had a chance to toss a quality start in the World Series for the first time in his career and clinch the deciding game of the World Series.
He would not be as fortunate the next inning, however, as batter by batter, Peavy watched his chances of making it a memorable night go up in smoke with a series of soft hits.
In what turned out to be a brutally short outing for the 33-year-old right-hander, Peavy allowed five earned runs on six hits in only an inning and a third as the Royals put the Giants in a seven-run deficit they could never recover from in a 10-0 Royals victory.
“It was just one of those innings, to be honest with you,” said Peavy, who was battling a swollen right thumb but tossed 29 strikes and 13 balls. “It seemed like we couldn’t catch a break. I don’t know how many times in a 13-year career you break three bats and don’t get an out on any of them.”
Peavy, who watched the video of his performance after his departure, opened the second inning with a change-up that broke Alex Gordon’s bat — “placed it perfect, down and away to the catcher,” Peavy said — but still landed for a single. Salvador Perez followed with another single, Mike Moustakas followed with a run-scoring double.
“Threw a cutter in to Moustakas, broke his bat, ball went right over the bag, just out of the reach of the first baseman,” Peavy said.
Still, it looked like Peavy might find a way to rally when he made Omar Infante look helpless with an 87 mph cutter, but back-to-back singles by Alcides Escobar (who also broke his bat) and Nori Aoki — the latter coming with Peavy ahead in the count 1-2 — gave the Royals a 2-0 lead with one out.
“I don’t know much that we would do different,” Peavy said. “Maybe bounce a ball to Aoki there. We threw the ball wherever we wanted to throw it. It was just a frustrating inning.”
At this point, Giants manager Bruce Bochy had seen enough. He pulled Peavy with the bases loaded, and Cain and Hosmer drove the stake into Peavy’s replacement, Yusmeiro Petit.
Cain lofted a two-run single to shallow left center, and Hosmer followed with a two-run double to put the Royals ahead 6-0.
It also brought an end to a frustrating World Series for Peavy, who allowed four runs and six hits in game two, in which he also took the loss.
Tuesday’s outing was the shortest postseason start of his career, and he now owns a 1-5 record and 7.98 ERA in nine postseason starts. He also has a 9.58 ERA in three World Series starts.
“You’ve got to have a little bit of good fortune in this game, and we certainly didn’t have any tonight,” said Peavy, who dropped to 1-6 all-time at Kauffman Stadium. “But I’m not worried about (Wednesday). This team is resilient.”