SAN FRANCISCO - Summoned in a tough spot, Royals rookie Brandon Finnegan trotted in from the bullpen, threw his warmup pitches and then did something curious.
He walked behind the mound, took off his hat, rubbed his hair and looked at the right-field foul pole.
Nervous about being in the World Series? Naw.
"That's just what I do," he said.
With a rollicking crowd at AT&T Park ready to erupt, Finnegan made it all look routine.
SAN FRANCISCO - All season long and deep into October, the Kansas City Royals have relied on their winning formula of fundamental baseball: sparkling defence, a stingy bullpen and just enough timely hitting.
It won them a wild card and the American League pennant. And now, it has manager Ned Yost and his team on top in the World Series.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Joe Maddon's highly successful run as manager of the Tampa Bay Rays is over.
After discussions on a new deal bogged down with the Rays, Maddon is now free to listen to offers from any club — a prospect the manager apparently found too difficult to resist.
Tampa Bay announced Friday that Maddon had exercised an opt-out clause in his contract. The Rays had expected to have him in their dugout at least through 2015, when his contract was due expire.
MIAMI - Among the standouts at Games 1 and 2 of the World Series was a Miami Marlins fan in the front row behind home plate.
Laurence Leavy's orange Marlins jersey made him easy to spot amid a sea of Kansas City Royals blue. The Royals' reaction to Leavy became a subject of debate Friday.
Leavy said a Royals official approached him offering to move him to the team owner's suite, but he declined.
SAN FRANCISCO - Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain was moved from centre field to right for Game 3 of the World Series to boost defence in one of AT&T Park's trickiest positions.
Kansas City manager Ned Yost made the move Friday night with the best-of-seven matchup 1-all. Usual right fielder Nori Aoki was not in the starting lineup, while Jarrod Dyson was starting in centre field and batting eighth.
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Game 2 of the World Series stayed close deeper into the night, boosting television ratings.
The 12.9 million viewers Wednesday on Fox for the Kansas City Royals' 7-2 win over the San Francisco Giants were an increase of 6 per cent from Game 1. The 7.9 rating with a 14 share was still the second-lowest ever for a Game 2. The Giants' 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers in 2012 drew a 7.8/12.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Billy Butler hit a tiebreaking single, Salvador Perez and Omar Infante drove in two runs each with big hits in a five-run sixth inning, and the Kansas City Royals beat the San Francisco Giants 7-2 Wednesday night to even the World Series at one game apiece.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - By the time Madison Bumgarner took the mound to throw his first pitch, the San Francisco Giants already held a three-run lead.
It might as well have been 100 with the way MadBum and this orange-and-black bunch play in the World Series.
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Trisha Yearwood and Carlos Santana are among the musicians set to perform the national anthem during the World Series.
Major League Baseball says Yearwood will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Game 1 on Tuesday when the San Francisco Giants play the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
Santana will perform an instrumental rendition of the national anthem with his son before Game 4 on Saturday at the AT&T Park in San Francisco.
PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. - Baseball commissioner Bud Selig received a two-year contract extension Thursday through the 2014 season.
Selig has held the position since 1992, first as acting commissioner and then as commissioner since 1998. He will turn 80 in July 2014.
If he stays until September 2016, he would surpass Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1920-44) as the longest-serving baseball commissioner.
Selig's contract had been due to expire this Dec. 31.