San Francisco Giants

Bumgarner leads Giants to 7-1 win over Royals in Game 1 of World Series

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner pitches in the bottom of the first inning.
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner pitches in the bottom of the first inning. jvillegas@sacbee.com

KANSAS CITY -- It had been 29 years since the Royals last played in the World Series, and when James Shields threw the first pitch of Game 1 at 7:08 p.m. local time Tuesday, 40,459 voices were rocking Kauffman Stadium.

By the time Shields threw his 30th pitch of the inning, they’d grown much quieter.

The Giants jumped on Shields for three runs in the first inning and knocked the Royals’ starter out in the fourth, and Madison Bumgarner kept the crowd subdued by continuing his mastery of postseason road starts with seven strong innings. The Giants won, 7-1, handing the Royals their first loss of the postseason and seizing the early Series advantage.

Bumgarner did not allow a run until the second-to-last batter he faced, catcher Salvador Perez, hit a two-out home run to left in the seventh inning. It is the only run Bumgarner has allowed in three career World Series starts and snapped his streak of scoreless innings in the Series at 21 -- the second-most ever to start a career behind Christy Mathewson (28).

It also ended Bumgarner’s major-league record of consecutive scoreless innings on the road in the postseason at 32 2/3. It was just the third hit Bumgarner allowed Tuesday night, and snapped a stretch of 12 consecutive batters retired.

In his three World Series starts, Bumgarner is 3-0 with eight hits allowed and 19 strikeouts in 22 innings. At 25 years old, the left-hander already has more postseason wins (six) than any other Giants pitcher since at least 1900, passing Mathewson and Tim Lincecum on Tuesday night.

Bumgarner made a matchup of staff aces in Game 1 look like a mismatch. In each of their last three World Series trips, the Giants have drawn their opposition’s top starter in the Series opener and made him look decidedly average. Cliff Lee in 2010, Justin Verlander in 2012 and Shields on Tuesday combined to throw just 11 2/3 innings while allowing 16 runs on 21 hits.

Shields, who allowed just four hits in a complete-game shutout of the Giants in August, gave up five to his first six hitters Tuesday. Gregor Blanco lined a soft single to center and after Joe Panik flew out, Buster Posey singled on a line drive to left. Pablo Sandoval then laced a low pitch down the right-field line for a double, scoring Blanco easily.

Third-base coach Tim Flannery, though, also waved Posey home, and the Giants’ catcher was thrown out by plenty, giving Shields a chance to escape with minimal damage. But Hunter Pence crushed Shields’ full-count pitch an estimated 403 feet over the center-field wall for a two-run homer, his first of the postseason and first overall since Sept. 20.

Brandon Belt added a single before Shields struck Michael Morse out on his 32nd pitch of the inning. It gave Bumgarner a three-run lead before the left-hander had thrown his first pitch. During the regular season, the Giants went 20-4 when scoring three or more runs in a Bumgarner start.

Bumgarner entered with a streak of 26 2/3 consecutive scoreless postseason innings on the road, which appeared in jeopardy in the third. Omar Infante reached on a Brandon Crawford error, and Mike Moustakas lined a double to right field, putting runners on second and third with nobody out.

But Bumgarner bore down, striking out Alcides Escobar and Nori Aoki before walking Lorenzo Cain to load the bases. Cleanup hitter Eric Hosmer then grounded Bumgarner’s first pitch to Panik to end the inning, and Bumgarner pumped his fist before walking to the dugout.

The Giants chased Shields in the next half-inning. Pence doubled and took third on a wild pitch, Belt walked and Morse lined a single to center to score Pence, bringing Ned Yost out of the Royals’ dugout to relieve his starter. Left-hander Danny Duffy walked two of his first three hitters, including Blanco with the bases loaded to force in a run, but struck out Panik and got Posey to fly out to end the inning.

Sandoval’s first-inning double extended his streak of reaching base safely in the playoffs to 24 games, the longest active streak in the majors and tied for fourth-longest in major-league history with Carlos Beltran and Carlos Ruiz. Sandoval added an RBI single in the seventh inning that scored Panik, who had tripled to the right-center field gap to drive in Blanco from first base.

Call The Bee’s Matt Kawahara, (916) 321-1015. See his baseball coverage at sacbee.com/mlb. Follow him on Twitter at @matthewkawahara.

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