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2014 MLB Playoffs Recaps: Royals, Giants Win Game 3s

On Tuesday, both the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants took another step towards reaching the World Series. Here’s a recap of the night’s action in the ALCS and NLCS Game 3s.

Greg Holland

On Tuesday, both the Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants took another step towards reaching the World Series. Here’s a recap of the night’s action in the ALCS and NLCS Game 3s.

Royals on Brink of World Series with 2-1 Win over Orioles in Game 3 of ALCS
In the first two games of the ALCS, the Kansas City Royals used offense to defeat the Baltimore Orioles on their way to a 2-0 lead. In Tuesday’s Game 3, they showed off their pitching.

With little offense for both teams, the Royals squeaked by the Orioles, 2-1 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead. The victory puts Kansas City at the doorstep of their first World Series appearance since 1985.

On a night where bats were silent for the most part, the Royals got a strong performance from starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie allowed only a single run and three hits over five innings of work. As good as he was, however, the Royals’ bullpen was even better. Four Kansas City relievers combined for four hitless frames, including Greg Holland‘s work in the ninth inning leading to his fifth save this postseason.

After falling behind 1-0, the Royals scored runs on an Alex Gordon ground out and Billy Butler sacrifice fly to take the lead and, eventually, win the game. J.J. Hardy‘s RBI double scored the only run of the game for the Orioles.

Kansas City proved just why they are such a dangerous team right now. The team scored 14 runs in the first two ALCS games but even with a lack of offense on Tuesday, had enough pitching to win. The bullpen, in particular, makes them a tough team to beat and if the team carries a lead past the sixth inning, they’re going to be very difficult to beat.

For Baltimore, things look incredibly bleak. While it’s true that the Royals have needed extra innings more times than not during the playoffs this year, only one team out of 33, the 2004 Boston Red Sox, have come back from a 3-0 deficit in the postseason.

Miscue Gives Giants 5-4 Win over Cardinals in Game 3 of NLCS

In Game 2, Kolten Wong‘s ninth-inning home run gave the St. Louis Cardinals a walk off win over the San Francisco Giants. On Tuesday night, it was the Giants’ turn.

San Francisco got an unlikely 5-4 walk off win on a throwing error in Game 3 of the NLCS. The victory gives the Giants a 2-1 lead in the series with Game 4 in San Francisco on Wednesday.

After eight consecutive scoreless innings, the Cardinals’ pitching staff finally showed some signs of weakness. Randy Choate came into the tenth inning with the score tied at 4-4 and immediately ran into trouble. Choate walked leadoff batter, Brandon Crawford, before giving up a single to Juan Perez. After a sacrifice bunt by Gregor Blanco pushed Crawford and Perez to second and third, the pitcher’s throw to first was an errant one, scoring Crawford to end the game.

The Giants nearly blew the game despite a 4-0 lead in the first inning. Travis Ishikawa hit a bases loaded double to score three of those runs and opened things up early for San Francisco. Starting pitcher Tim Hudson inherited the lead, but couldn’t hold it, allowing seven hits and four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. That included a solo home run by Randal Grichuk, which tied the game in the seventh inning, knocking Hudson out of the game.

Opposing pitcher John Lackey settled down after the rocky first inning. After falling behind 4-0, Lackey rebounded extremely well, allowing only one more hit over his final five innings.  His line of four earned runs over six innings looks bad, but the fact is that Lackey was dominant after that initial inning.

Outfielder Jon Jay continued his hot series with three more hits for St. Louis in defeat. With six hits in 11 at bats, Jay is batting .545 in the series.

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