Instant Reaction: Royals Beat Giants 3-2, Take 2-1 World Series Lead

The Kansas City Royals got on the board early in Game 3, turning an Alcides Escobar double into an early 1-0 lead thanks to a Lorenzo Cain RBI groundout off of San Francisco Giants starter Tim Hudson.

Hudson and Royals hurler Jeremy Guthrie locked in from there, retiring a combined 20 batters in a row from the bottom of the 2nd into the top of the 6th.

The Royals would break up the pitchers' duel (and chase Hudson) with a couple of insurance runs in the 6th, making it 3-0.

San Francisco sliced the gap back down to one in the bottom half of the frame, yet KC's bullpen halted the Giants' comeback bid from there to secure a 3-2 KC win and a 2-1 series lead for the Royals.

Turning Point: Royals manager Ned Yost was forced to take the road less travelled in the sixth, bringing in normal 7th-inning man Kelvin Herrera to relieve Guthrie with a man on and one out. Herrera picked up four key outs to bridge the game into the seventh (giving up just two walks), before rookie Brandon Finnegan finished off the frame with two impressive outs of his own.

Yost's bullpen shuffle ended up paying dividends, halting the Giants' momentum and preserving a one-run cushion for the normal 8-9 combo of Wade Davis and closer Greg Holland to protect (and protect it they did).

Key Stat Of The Night: 0-for-9

That was Royals left fielder Alex Gordon's stat line in this World Series before booming an RBI double off of Tim Hudson in the top of the 6th - effectively chasing Hudson from the game.

Gordon's RBI wasn't the game-winner, but he changed the entire complexion of Friday's contest (and perhaps the series) with his first hit of the Fall Classic.

Royals MVP of the Night: SS Alcides Escobar - 2-for-4, 1 double, 2 runs scored

The Royals shortstop shined in the leadoff spot, providing two hits and scoring two of Kansas City's three runs on this night. Escobar was the engine for the Royals small-ball attack, turning on the jets to motor home on both Cain's RBI groundout and from first on Gordon's moonshot RBI double.

Giants MVP of the Night: PH Michael Morse - 1-for-1, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 run scored

Batting for reliever Javier Lopez in the bottom of the 6th, Morse made his brief appearance in Friday's game count. Morse laced an RBI double to left off of Guthrie, before scoring three batters later on a Buster Posey groundout (that coming off of relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera).

Morse provided instant offense off the Giants bench, lifting San Francisco back into the game with a big-time cameo.

Photo of the Night:

Gene Simmons ain't got nothing on Hunter Pence, win, lose, or draw.

What's Next? Both teams return to AT&T Park for Game 4 at 5:07pm PST on Saturday night. Ryan Vogelsong is scheduled to take the hill for the San Francisco Giants, but don't rule out Madison Bumgarner starting on short rest for the first time in his impressive young career.

As Bumgarner told his Giants teammates and coaches before Friday's Game 3, "I will not take no for an answer."

The Royals counter with veteran Jason Vargas, looking to take a commanding 3-1 series lead and win their second straight by the Bay.

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