SAN FRANCISCO - The first three games of the 110th World Series in many ways played out as expected.
Madison Bumgarner did what he always does at this time of year in Game 1. The Royals' lock-the-door-and-throw-away-the-key bullpen did what it has done all season in Games 2 and 3.
And then all heck broke loose in a wild Game 4, an 11-4 Giants victory in front of 43,066 delirious fans at AT&T Park in which momentum, that desired but often elusive dance partner in a long series, swung like a pendulum on PEDs.
And now the Giants, whose prospects looked bleak when they stared at a 4-1 deficit after three innings, are even at two games apiece with Bumgarner -- 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA in five starts this postseason -- ready to go on regular rest Sunday night in Game 5.
After falling behind by those three runs, the Giants slowly crawled back into the game, pulling even in the fifth and erupting for three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh to blow it open.
Rookie lefty Brandon Finnegan, who got two key outs the night before, started the sixth, allowed three runs in that inning and was charged with two the next.
Pablo Sandoval had the key hit in the sixth, a two-out, two-run single that snapped a 4-4 tie. Brandon Belt followed with a single that made it 7-4.
The Giants pounded out 16 hits, three by Hunter Pence, who had three RBIs, and two each from Gregor Blanco, St. John's product Joe Panik (two RBIs) and Sandoval. The latter two added two RBIs each.
Neither starter came close to lasting long enough to factor in the decision. Royals starter Jason Vargas allowed three runs and six hits in four innings. Giants righty Ryan Vogelsong allowed four runs and seven hits in 22/3 innings.
Vogelsong could not get out of a strange, death-by-a-thousand-cuts third inning in which the Royals managed perhaps one hard-hit ball but seemed to seize control of the game, sending nine to the plate and scoring three times to take a 4-1 lead.
After Vargas flied out, Alcides Escobar singled, but Alex Gordon grounded into a 3-6 force play for the second out. Gordon then stole second -- the Royals' first stolen base of the series -- and Lorenzo Cain followed with a slow grounder to Brandon Crawford at short that he beat out for an infield single.
Eric Hosmer then hit a trickler to first baseman Brandon Belt, who was well off the base. He had to flip the ball to Vogelsong, who was slow off the mound and late getting to the bag, and the infield single tied it at 1-1.
Visibly irritated, Vogelsong walked Mike Moustakas on four pitches to load the bases. Omar Infante fell behind 0-and-2 before dumping a 2-and-2 fastball into center for a two-run single that made it 3-1, and Salvador Perez flared a single to center to make it 4-1 and end Vogelsong's night.
The Giants got one of the runs back in the bottom half on Buster Posey's two-out single that made it 4-2.
They knocked out Vargas in the fifth when Panik, 2-for-15 to that point in the series, led off with a double. Pence's RBI single off Jason Frasor made it 4-3 and Sandoval's single off Danny Duffy put runners at the corners. Belt walked to load the bases and Juan Perez sent a sinking liner to center, where Jarrod Dyson made a spectacular diving catch to rob him of a hit. But the sacrifice fly tied the score at 4-4.