All season long and deep into October, the Kansas City Royals have relied on their winning formula of fundamental baseball: sparkling defense, a dominant bullpen and just enough timely hitting. Jeremy Guthrie outpitched fellow Series newcomer Tim Hudson, four Royals relievers combined on four hitless innings and Kansas City beat the San Francisco Giants 3-2 Friday night for a 2-1 lead in the Fall Classic.
Royals manager Ned Yost thinks he has a tough bullpen, filled with relievers capable of throwing multiple innings on consecutive nights. We don't feel like they're sissies,'' he said after Kansas City beat San Francisco 3-2 Friday night to take a 2-1 World Series lead. Kelvin Herrera entered in the sixth, walked his first batter and induced three groundouts. Our relievers and our starting pitchers know that we have complete trust in them.
Jeremy Guthrie walked onto the field in the middle of the first inning, got behind the mound and saw what he described as a ''sea of orange.'' After pitching for two colleges, three minor league teams and four major league clubs, after finishing with a losing record in five of his first six big league seasons, after enduring four consecutive last-place finishes, he had made it to baseball's pinnacle: the World Series. ''A lot of people say they dreamed of playing in the World Series. He also accomplished a first: No starting pitcher in the 111-year history of the World Series had ever before gotten a win without any strikeouts or walks.
Brandon Finnegan passed his biggest test yet. Only four months after he pitched in the College World Series, the 21-year-old reliever trotted into a troubling seventh inning, got two key outs and helped the Kansas City Royals hold off San Francisco 3-2 Friday night in Game 3 of the World Series. All that, and something even more important to the Royals - he was part of giving them a 2-1 edge over the Giants. Outside the Kansas City clubhouse, surrounded by a bevy of Royals rooters, Betty and Gary Finnegan tried to absorb what they'd just seen.
Retiring White Sox star Paul Konerko and Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins were picked Friday as the first co-winners of Major League Baseball's Roberto Clemente Award. The annual honor is given for contributions on and off the field that best represent the sport and is named for the Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer, who died on Dec. 31, 1972, in a plane crash while on a humanitarian mission to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua. ''Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children is a wonderful reflection of the legacy the legendary Roberto Clemente has left on our game and in society,'' baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said. Konerko founded the ''Bring Me Home Campaign,'' which also includes a pair of former teammates in retired great Jim Thome and the Los Angeles Angels' Gordon Beckham.
District Judge Michael Shipp issued a temporary restraining order after a request by the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, Major League Baseball and the NCAA. Republican Gov. Chris Christie signed a law on Oct. 17 that effectively repeals the state's ban on sports wagering and allows it at racetracks and casinos. ''This is a temporary order while the core issues surrounding sports wagering in New Jersey are fully considered by the court,'' Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak said in a statement.
Joe Maddon's highly successful run as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays is over. After discussions on a new deal bogged down with the Rays, Maddon is now free to listen to offers from any club - a prospect the manager apparently found too difficult to resist. Tampa Bay announced Friday that Maddon had exercised an opt-out clause in his contract. The Rays had expected to have him in their dugout at least through 2015, when his contract was due expire.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The starting pitchers for Game 2 of the World Series are a study in contrasts.