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Royals crush Giants to force winner-take-all Game 7 in World Series

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The bottom of the second inning Tuesday night lasted 40 pitches, a lifetime in one dugout and a blur in the other. The San Francisco Giants watched a possible coronation devolve into a painful slog. The Kansas City Royals turned an existential fight into a giddy celebration. The crowd at Kaufmann Stadium exalted and waved blue towels and hollered for more, and more they will — everybody will — get.

Four arms throw shiver into Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Zack Greinke asked out of Kansas City four years ago. He was in the prime of his career. He would not sign a new contract with the Royals because he wanted to win and, as he told anyone who asked, he did not believe the Royals could win.

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Gordon’s homer in 10th helps Royals top O’s, 8-6

BALTIMORE — The baseball tore a hole through rain and the wind and the mid-October chill before it splashed into a stunned sea of orange. In the lower bowl of Camden Yards, a rowdy pocket of Kansas City Royals fans leapt to their feet. All around them sat Baltimore Orioles fans stunned by the 10th inning feat of Alex Gordon and his game-winning homer in an 8-6 victory on the first night of the American League Championship Series.

Giants beat Pirates 8-0 in NL Wild Card to advance

PITTSBURGH — The streets here Wednesday afternoon were crawling with black T-shirts and Pirate caps. The Roberto Clemente Bridge, over the Allegheny River connecting downtown to PNC Park, filled with equal parts beer and hope, which have an interesting relationship to begin with. The novelty of playoff baseball came a year ago, when a two-decade postseason drought was broken. These fans who packed the yard to back their Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t blindly delirious, delivering a civic exhale. They expected more.