Kansas City, MO – One run.
That’s all the Royals needed to score off of Madison Bumgarner in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series to potentially change history. They were unable to do it.
But on Wednesday night, one run was all the Royals needed as they avenged the guy who defeated them three times in October 2014 with a 2-0 victory in front of 24,402 at Kauffman Stadium.
Making just his sixth start since returning from Tommy John surgery last September, Jason Vargas mowed down the Giants over seven shutout innings. He scattered four hits and struck out nine batters, one shy of his career-high, and lowered his season ERA to 0.44.
“You never see him shake off,” Royals manager Ned Yost told media members after the game. “Him and Salvy are on a great wavelength. Their game calling and execution has just been masterful in his three starts. He’s done a great job of mixing it up and changing speeds, keeping the ball down and keeping it on the good part of the plate.”
Vargas extended his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 14 2/3. The last run he has allowed came on a Carlos Beltran doubles in the seventh inning of his first start against the Astros on April 7.
“He’s done a great job. He’s commanding the ball well. When he misses, he misses down. He’s on the corners, he’s changing speeds. It’s been a great start for him,” Yost said.
The Royals scratched out runs in the fifth and eighth. In the fifth, Paulo Orlando singled to left with one out. He stole second and advanced to third on an Alex Gordon groundout and scored on an infield single by Mike Moustakas. Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was unable to handle a ground ball cleanly and Moustakas slid headfirst under Bumgarner’s tag.
“Moose did a great job of putting the ball in play and really busting it down the line,” Yost said. “That first run was huge when you have Madison Bumgarner on the mound. You know it’s going to be a dogfight, especially with how well Vargy is throwing.”
The Royals ended the home stand with a 5-3 record and have now won five of their last six games. They will head for Arlington, TX and get set for a four game weekend series with the Rangers. Danny Duffy and Andrew Cashner will take the ball on Thursday night and first pitch is slated for 8:05 EST.