Fans make their way over to AT&T park for game three of the World Series. (James Tensuan/KQED)
The 2014 World Series returned from Kansas City to AT&T Park in San Francisco Friday night.
The Royals took an early lead with a run in the top of the first. Leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar doubled to right and later scored on a ground ball by Lorenzo Cain.
That run scored against Giants veteran starter, 39-year-old Tim Hudson, pitching in his first World Series game of an illustrious 16-year career.
After his first-inning shakiness, Hudson settled in to shut KC's offense down through the fifth. Royals starter, 35-year-old Jeremy Guthrie, like Hudson a finesse pitcher, kept the Giants hitters off-balance through five innings, benefiting from some great defense along the way.
After five full innings the score was still 0-1.
Hudson lost his way in the sixth, allowing a single to Escobar and a double to Alex Gordon. Now the score was 0-2. That sent Hudson, after one more out, to the bench, as Giants fans saluted his performance.
So far, the story of this game was the lack of offense, not pitching or defense, for San Francisco. To win this game, the bullpen would have to hold the line, and the hitters would have to start showing up.
For the first time in, well, forever, southpaw reliever Javier Lopez failed at his task, when in the 11th pitch of his at bat, Eric Hosmer drove in Gordon with a single and the deficit fell to 0-3.
Quite frankly, at this point in the game, the momentum had completely shifted to Kansas City, and the usually rowdy Giants crowd started to settle into -- not silence -- but that subdued sound collectively that indicates: 'This isn't turning out the way we wanted it too.'
Shock, disbelief -- those would be accurate words.
But of course there were still three innings of baseball to play.
Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford singled to start the bottom of the 6th. (At this point, the shades of Loma Prieta back in 1989, entered the park. The Giants had not scored in ten innings in this World Series, the most since 11 scoreless innings in 1989 against the A's.)
But Michael Morse then drove a dramatic double down the third-base line, scoring Crawford.
Now it was 1-3. No outs, and the Royals had to take Guthrie out of the game for their bullpen, one inning earlier than their preference.
In came reliever Kelvin Herrera, He walked Blanco. Two runners on second and third with one out and who came up?
Buster Posey. This is the biggest moment of this World Series. A hit would have tied the game. Posey did not do that but did hit a grounder to second, scoring one run.
Top of the 7th. Giants reliever Sergio Romo retired the side easily despite allowing a hit.
In the bottom of then 7th, despite a leadoff walk from Pence, the Giants failed to score. On to the 8th.
Still 2-3. And on to the 9th.
Unfortunately for Giants fans, the score stayed unchanged all the way to the bitter end. Game four starts around 5 p.m. Saturday night. There is no longer a way for this series to end on a happy note in San Francisco for the Giants.
If they are to prevail it will have to be, as it was in 2010 (in Arlington, Texas) and 2012 (in Detroit, Michigan) , on the road. This time around, that would be next week in Kansas City, Missouri.