KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Salvador Perez hit a two-run double and Omar Infante belted a two-run homer in a five-run sixth inning, and the Kansas City Royals defeated the San Francisco Giants 7-2 Wednesday night to even the World Series at one game apiece.
Manager Bruce Bochy used five pitchers in the sixth inning as the Giants’ bullpen imploded.
Giants starter Jake Peavy, who retired 10 consecutive batters entering the inning, was pulled after center fielder Lorenzo Cain singled and first baseman Eric Hosmer walked to start the sixth with the score 2-2.
With designated hitter Billy Butler, 15-for-35 career off Peavy including a RBI single in the first, coming to the plate, Bochy summoned right-hander Jean Machi. Butler laced a single to left-center, scoring Cain to put the Royals on top.
After left-hander Javier Lopez retired left fielder Alex Gordon, right-hander Hunter Strickland was called on to face Perez, and the Kansas City catcher ripped a two-run double. Next, Infante blasted a 1-0 pitch over the Royals’ left field bullpen fence, the second baseman’s first postseason home run in 145 at-bats.
Strickland and Perez had words around the plate, but Infante quickly got Perez headed to the dugout and the umpires stepped in. Strickland allowed two inherited runners to score and two of his own in six pitches without retiring a batter.
Giants left-hander Jeremy Affeldt recorded the last two outs of the inning.
Right-hander Yordano Ventura, who became the first Kansas City rookie to start a World Series game at any position, left after 5 1/3 innings and 87 pitches. He permitted two runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Ventura was pitching the first time since Oct. 11, when he left after 5 2/3 innings after experiencing shoulder tightness.
Manager Ned Yost went to his bullpen, bringing in right-hander Kelvin Herrera after catcher Buster Posey and right fielder Hunter Pence singled in the sixth. Herrera’s first three pitches hit 100-101 mph on the radar gun. Herrera retired first baseman Brandon Belt on a fly to left and designated hitter Michael Morse on a grounder to keep the score tied at 2.
Herrera, who picked up the victory, went 1 2/3 hitless innings, striking out one and walking two.
Peavy, who was charged with four runs on six hits in five-plus innings, took the loss. He walked two and struck out one.
Right-handers Wade Davis and Greg Holland combined to strike out five in the final two innings, sending the teams to San Francisco with the series even.
Game 3, 4 and 5 will be played in San Francisco on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum, who had not pitched in 23 days, retired the first five batters he faced, but motioned the trainer out after bouncing a pitch to Perez in the eighth. After a brief conversation, Lincecum was led off the field and replaced by Santiago Casilla.
Leading off the game, San Francisco center fielder Gregor Blanco turned on a 98 mph, full-count Ventura fastball and deposited it in the Giants’ right field bullpen. Blanco became the 17th player to lead off a World Series game with a home run. The previous was two were Boston Red Sox: second baseman Dustin Pedroia in 2007 and outfielder Johnny Damon in 2004.
The Royals tied it in the bottom of the inning when Butler’s two-out single scored Cain. Butler’s hit snapped Kansas City’s 0-for-17 streak with runners in scoring position.
The Royals forged ahead in the second when shortstop Alcides Escobar’s two-out double down the right field line scored Infante, who drilled a one-hop double to the left field line.
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval and Belt doubled in the Giants’ fourth to tie the score.
NOTES: Before the game, Royals RHP Greg Holland was honored with the Mariano Rivera Award for the best relief pitcher in the AL and Braves RHP Craig Kimbrel was given the Trevor Hoffman Award for best relief pitcher in the NL. Holland saved 46 games during the regular season. … During the Giants’ seven-game World Series winning streak through Game 1, the pitching staff posted a 1.13 ERA, allowing eight earned runs in 64 innings. … Two veteran right-handers, Jeremy Guthrie of the Royals and Tim Hudson of the Giants, are the pitching probables for Game 3 on Friday in San Francisco. LHP Jason Vargas will start Saturday for the Royals, while the Giants will counter with RHP Ryan Vogelsong. The Giants went 30-30 against left-handed starters during the season and 58-44 against right-handers. … Royals Hall of Famer George Brett threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Phillip Phillips, a platinum recording artist, performed the national anthem.