KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Much of the pregame media noise revolved around how the young Royals would handle their first loss of the postseason.
Quite well, thank you.
Roaring back after Tuesday night's setback, the Royals spanked the Giants, 7-2, in Game 2 of the World Series in front of a thunderous crowd of 40,446 waving white-and-blue towels Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
The series shifts to San Francisco for the next three games, starting tomorrow night.
Royals rookie righthander Yordano Ventura was OK, allowing eight hits and two runs in 51/3 innings. The difference was the sixth inning, in which both managers called on their bullpens.
In the top of the sixth, with the score tied at 2, Royals manager Ned Yost brought on Kelvin Herrera to replace Ventura with one out and two on, and the flame-throwing righthander got out of the inning.
In the bottom half, Bruce Bochy ended Jake Peavy's night after the first two batters reached. Four relievers later, the Royals had put five runs on the board, with the big blows Salvador Perez's two-run double and Omar Infante's two-run homer.
Hunter Strickland, who gave up both extra-base hits, took exception to the way Perez sauntered down the third base line on the homer, and the Giants reliever nearly touched off a bench-clearing incident, though the fracas amounted to nothing.
It was the fifth homer Strickland has allowed in this postseason. The Giants' bullpen has allowed eight this October, while the Royals' relievers have given up one.
Peavy, 1-3 with a 7.03 ERA in seven previous postseason starts, allowed four runs and six hits in five-plus innings and took the loss.
As was the case in the Giants' 7-1 victory in Game 1, Gregor Blanco got his team going. Tuesday it was a leadoff single; this time it was a leadoff homer. Blanco fouled off three of the last four pitches in an eight-pitch at-bat, finally rocking a 98-mph, full-count fastball into the Giants' bullpen in right-center.
It was the 19th leadoff homer in World Series history and the first since Dustin Pedroia of the Red Sox did it in Game 1 in 2007 against the Rockies. Ventura retired three straight to end the 20-pitch inning.
The Royals tied it in the bottom half.
Alcides Escobar led off with an infield hit, but Peavy, with a big boost from catcher Buster Posey, made it look as if that would be all.
With one out, Escobar took off and Posey bounced a throw to second baseman Joe Panik, who quickly got the tag down. Lorenzo Cain, the ALCS MVP, doubled to center, and after Eric Hosmer walked, Billy Butler lined an 0-and-1 pitch past shortstop Brandon Crawford for a single that made it 1-1.
The Royals took their first lead of the series in the second on Escobar's two-out double. It brought home Infante, who had doubled with one out, to make it 2-1. The Giants tied it in the fourth on Brandon Belt's double.
Herrera got out of trouble in the sixth, throwing eight fastballs in a nine-pitch inning that each reached at least 100 mph on the radar gun. Then the Royals put it away in the bottom half.
After Cain and Eric Hosmer reached against Peavy, Butler's single off righty Jean Machi gave the Royals the lead for good at 3-2. Lefty Javier Lopez retired Alex Gordon but Strickland gas-lit the inning, allowing Perez's double and Infante's homer, which made it 7-2.
The Royals bullpen, nearly impenetrable all postseason, was brilliant again. Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland allowed only one hit in the final 32/3 innings.