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Giants-Royals Preview

The playoff-hardened San Francisco Giants welcomed the Kansas City Royals to the World Series with a Game 1 thumping.

Gritty veteran Jake Peavy will try for the same kind of result in a pitching matchup with a potentially similar storyline.

Experience faces youth in the form of rookie Yordano Ventura for Wednesday night's Game 2 as the Giants set out to steal both games in Kansas City and inch closer to a third World Series crown in five seasons.

"A lot of energy, I think, on both sides," said Peavy, 33, pointing out his shared demeanor with the 23-year-old. ''We'll have our work cut out for us, for sure."

The headline-grabbing Royals had won their first eight games of the postseason prior to Tuesday's 7-1 home loss, and now will try to become just the third team in the last 18 World Series to recover from a 1-0 deficit.

"We didn't expect to come in here and sweep the San Francisco Giants," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "We knew that this was a series that was going to go deep. We know how tough they are. They swung the bats really well."

San Francisco, which was swept in a three-game regular-season series in Kansas City by a 16-6 score, got the bulk of its offense from Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence, who each collected two hits and two RBIs.

Pence's two-run homer sparked a three-run first inning, while Sandoval is batting .400 since the start of the NL Championship Series and has reached base in a club-record 24 straight postseason games dating to 2012. If he gets on Wednesday, Sandoval will match Baltimore's Boog Powell for the third-longest streak in playoff history.

"I can't say I'm surprised by these guys," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of his Nos. 4 and 5 hitters.

Prior to 2013 with Boston, Peavy's postseason experience had been limited with two starts in his first 12 seasons, which resulted in a pair of losses and a 12.10 ERA.

The right-hander's next assignment will be his sixth start in the last two years, and while his playoff numbers are improving with age, they're still probably not up to a level of his liking.

Peavy (1-0, 1.86 ERA) has allowed two runs and six hits in 9 2-3 innings of two starts this season and has surrendered more than two runs once in his last five playoff starts - all of which have come on the road - but he's failed to pitch beyond four innings in three of those.

One such outing came in Game 2 of the NLCS as Peavy gave up two runs and four hits with three walks in four innings of a 5-4 loss in St. Louis.

He didn't factor into the decision, which was also the case in his lone World Series start last season with two runs and six hits allowed in four innings of another 5-4 loss at St. Louis.

Peavy's no stranger to Kauffman Stadium, though he might not have fond memories of his AL Central days. Peavy is 1-5 with a 6.42 ERA in seven starts in the Royals' building, and his 4.97 ERA against Kansas City is the worst among any club he's faced more than six times.

Billy Butler has inflicted plenty of that damage with a 14-for-33 career mark and three home runs, while Alcides Escobar is 9 for 22 with two homers.

Ventura (0-0, 4.85) began his postseason career with a rough relief outing in the Royals' wild-card win over Oakland, and his performance nearly cost them a spot in the ALDS. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed two runs and two hits in 1-3 of an inning before they rallied.

"For me, another thing I focus on is to live day by day," Ventura said with Game 3 starter Jeremy Guthrie serving as his translator. ''Really, what happened (against) Oakland, I had moved past that."

He's since made two road starts and yielded five runs in 12 2-3 innings, four of which came over 5 2-3 in Game 2 of the ALCS against Baltimore.

Ventura posted a 5-7 record and 3.27 ERA in 16 home starts during the regular season.

The Royals will now try to avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time since Sept. 19-20.

Salvador Perez homered in Game 1, but the catcher is batting .135 in the playoffs. The Royals' two hottest bats this postseason - Eric Hosmer (.394) and Lorenzo Cain (.333) - went a combined 0 for 6 as Giants pitchers held the Royals to four hits, matching the AL club's postseason low.

While it's been the Kansas City bullpen that has earned plenty of attention this October, San Francisco's relievers have been the more effective bunch with a 1.69 ERA in the postseason and 12 2-3 scoreless innings over the last four games.

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