The World Series was slipping away from the San Francisco Giants.
A botched grounder led to a three-run deficit, and they were in danger of falling behind the Kansas City Royals three games to one.
Instead of panic, it was time for some Panda-monium. Pablo Sandoval's single set up Hunter Pence to score the tying run in the fifth inning and the 2012 Series MVP followed with dramatics later in the game.
The San Francisco Giants evened up the World Series 2-2 against the Kansas City Royals, with an 11-4 win in Game 4.
The Giants were down 4-1 in the third inning, but scored 10 unanswered runs the rest of the way. The big blow in the 4-hour game came in the sixth inning, where the Giants scored three runs to take a 7-4 lead.
Sandoval delivered in the sixth with the winning, two-RBI single that put the Giants on top 6-4.
"We're going to battle and scratch and claw,'' Giants second baseman Joe Panik said.
With the World Series tied at two games apiece, the title will be decided at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium next week.
"We never give up, that's the thing,'' said Sandoval, who shook off a stomach bug after starting to feel ill Friday. "We've been doing it all year in these situations. We know how that feels.''
Pence, eyes ablaze, had three hits, three RBIs and a nifty sliding catch in the ninth inning, and Panik hit a two-run double in a four-run seventh.
"We had to win this game tonight no matter what,'' said Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong, who was knocked out of the game in the third inning.
Vogelsong only went 2 2/3 innings, giving up seven hits and four earned runs, but the Giants still have not lost a postseason game Vogelsong has pitched in.
Reliever Yusmeiro Petit (3-0) went three shutout innings to earn the win.
Up next, Giants ace Madison Bumgarner will take on James Shields in Game 5 Sunday night at 5:07 p.m. at AT&T Park.
"This was a great ballgame, I thought, especially the way we came back,'' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Showcasing baseball at its exciting best, the game included a sprawling catch by Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson that left a pair of divots, and the first use of expanded video review in Series history, which became a turning point. Jeff Kellogg's safe call at second base was upheld by replay ump Jerry Meals on catcher Salvador Perez's pickoff attempt of Joaquin Arias, helping the Giants build the pivotal rally.
Four fans in the first row near the Giants dugout wore giant, of course, white panda heads as they cheered on Sandoval, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda and a veteran of the team's World Series titles in 2010 and '12. The switch-hitter batted just .199 right-handed during the regular season but came up with his first two-hit game from that side of the plate since Aug. 25, emphatically tossing his bat after lining a single to center that put the Giants ahead 6-4.
Sandoval said he vomited after batting practice and took medication.
"No one was taking me out of the lineup,'' he said. "I play giving my heart and soul to the team.''
Lost in the torrent of runs was the earlier fit of pique by Bochy, who threw his hat to the dugout floor when his team botched a third-inning grounder. The mood was different by the eighth, when former Journey singer Steve Perry sprinted to the front row of the second deck behind home plate and led the crowd of 43,066 in a sing-along of "Lights.''
The outlook seemed far different in the third , when ominous, dark clouds formed over the bayside ballpark, and the Royals burst ahead 4-1 against Vogelsong with the pitcher's help. He failed to step on first while covering and trying to catch Brandon Belt's throw on Eric Hosmer's tapper. Orange-clad fans quieted, and there even were scattered boos.
"I thought we had the situation right in the palm of our hand,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said.
But Petit settled the NL champions with his scoreless relief.
"The way Petey threw tonight saved our bullpen. He was our MVP tonight for me,'' San Francisco pitcher Jeremy Affeldt.
Yost stayed with starter Jason Vargas into the fifth, removing him after Panik's leadoff double. Royals relievers had been 7-0 in the postseason, but Yost couldn't get to his hard-throwing HDH triad of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg Holland.
Jason Frasor and Danny Duffy combined to allow the tying run in a two-run fifth. And Brandon Finnegan, the first player to appear in the College World Series and World Series in the same year, allowed Sandoval's two-run single and Brandon Belt's RBI's single in the sixth.
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