James Shields kept the Giant bats off balance all evening, striking out just five in his nine innings of work while working around five base-runners. Of those five base-runners, only twice did that runner reach second base. It happened to be Joe Panik both times, first on a walk followed immediately thereafter by a wild pitch in the fifth and then again to lead off the eighth only to be stranded there by the eight, nine, and lead-off hitters.
Other than that, the Giants barely mustered an offensive attack, the rest of the squad singling a combined thrice.
Shields went the distance with 109 pitches in pretty much exactly the outing Dayton Moore hoped for in his moistest of dreams.
For the first six innings, this was a pitchers' duel. Tim Hudson nearly matched Shields frame for frame, erring just once in the fifth, when he left a four-seamer in the heart of the plate for Alex Gordon. Gordon took the opportunity to hang glorious, glorious dong, blasting one into deep right-center.
Ultimately that one run would have been enough, what with Shields tossing a complete-game, four-hit shut-out, but the Royals ran Hudson in the seventh and ended up adding a four-spot to their total thanks to a Billy Butler double, Gordon single, Lorenzo Cain RBI-single, Mike Moustakas RBI-double, Alcides Escobar RBI-single that saw him take second on the throw home, and finally a Jarrod Dyson RBI-single.
Those five runs were more than enough tonight.
The win was the Royals' 14th in their past 17 games and drew the Royals to just 1.5 games behind Detroit, who lost to Toronto in 10 innings this afternoon. The Royals are now nine games over .500. Presumably the last time they could say that was when they were 18 - 11.
The Royals did this all for Royals Review, many of whom were in attendance together.
What the hell is going on here?