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Ned Yost made the big pregame decision, parking Norichika Aoki on the bench in favor of Jarrod Dyson. It was the first time the Royals had changed their starting lineup in more than a month, with Lorenzo Cain sliding to right field and Alex Gordon moving into the second spot in the order. So that's where we'll start before touching on the rest of the night's action.

Yost, in essence, chose to bench his third-best hitter in favor of improved right-field defense. The regular-season gap in True Averages between Aoki and Dyson was 27 points, or about as far from Alex Gordon to Eric Hosmer. Yost wasn't derided for this decision because Aoki has stumbled during the postseason, and because AT&T Park features some unusual dimensions that up the difficulty level.

Still, it wasn't a black and white decision, in part due to the game's starting pitcher. During the regular season, Jeremy Guthrie averaged between three and four balls in the air to right field. If that rate held steady, there was a chance Dyson would receive more opportunities at the plate than Cain would in the field. How'd it play out? Evenly. Cain made each of the three plays he had a chance at in right, including a pair of sliding grabs, and Dyson made three trips to the plate, reaching once.

Those results aren't enough to say the decision paid off—maybe Aoki catches those balls as well, or perhaps he doesn't hit into an inning-ending double play in the second—but it's probably enough to say that Yost didn't regret his decision.

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How many Royals fans held their breath when Gordon walked to the plate with a runner on second and nobody out in the first? No, he didn't bunt. He just grounded out to the right side, allowing Alcides Escobar, who had reached on a first-pitch, leadoff double to advance to third base. Escobar would score on a grounder a batter later, giving the Royals an early 1-0 lead.

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Even after falling behind three batters into the game, Tim Hudson lasted into the sixth inning. He didn't look great through the first two innings, but settled down following a Buster Posey mound visit. At one point, Hudson retired 11 Royals in a row. Alas, what folks will probably remember about Hudson's start—besides, perhaps, his impressive defensive play during the first—is that he might've been left in too long. During the sixth inning, with a runner on and Gordon stepping in, the broadcast showed Javier Lopez hurrying to warm. Bruce Bochy didn't make the change, and so Hudson pitched to Gordon. It didn't work; Gordon doubled and gave the Royals a 2-0 lead.

It's worth noting that Lopez later yielded a single to Hosmer after a lengthy battle, which ought to soothe those contemplating what-if scenarios.

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Speaking of second-guessed decisions, Yost offered a few of his own from that point onward. He allowed Guthrie to bat for himself to lead off the sixth inning, a decision that looked silly at the time, and myopic after Guthrie was lifted two batters and one run into the bottom half of the inning. To be clear: the sin wasn't letting him begin the bottom of the inning against the bottom of the order, but, rather, letting him hit in the top half.

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Guthrie's replacement, Kelvin Herrera, by the way, allowed another run to cross, returning the game to one-run status.

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With a bullpen face-off underway, Bochy brought in Sergio Romo to begin the seventh. It was the first time Romo had entered that early in a postseason game, and just the second time overall this season he'd done so.

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Yost, meanwhile, didn't get aggressive. He left Herrera in to bat for himself against Romo, even after Dyson had reached first. On the one hand, with two outs, pinch-hitting Josh Willingham (or whomever) against Romo is unlikely to result in a run. On the other hand, Dyson would've score on a double and the alternative was a pitcher who stepped in the bucket. You understand Yost wanting Herrera out there for another inning, but the easiest solution would've been a double switch that lifted Mike Moustakas, who had made the final out of the previous inning. Herrera struck out (obviously), ending the inning.

Considering the score and the state of the bullpens, you would've liked to have seen Yost play a little more aggressive. Didn't matter in the end though.

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Yost then had to replace Herrera after two batters faced. To be fair, he might've done so in order to preserve Herrera for Game Four. Either way, Brandon Finnegan came in and retired Juan Perez and Brandon Crawford with relative ease, thereby taking Herrera (and Yost) off the hook.

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From there, the game was academic. Romo, Jeremy Affeldt, Wade Davis, Santiago Casilla, and Greg Holland retired the game's final 12 batters without incident, giving the Royals the 2-1 series edge. The Royals can now win the championship without winning another road game.

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Game Four is on Saturday night. The Royals will send Jason Vargas to the mound; the Giants will counter with Ryan Vogelsong.