Eric Hosmer is eager to see what makes San Francisco's waterfront ballpark unique.
"I know absolutely nothing," the Kansas City first baseman said. "I've heard nothing but good things about it, the atmosphere and the energy the crowd brings. I've always wanted to play there."
"I'm sure going for the first time for a World Series game, it should be fun," he said.
Well, wait until he trips over a bullpen mound chasing a foul ball. Or a teammate loses a fly in the mist that wafts above shallow center. Or those swirling winds turn a routine popup into an all-out scramble.
Who knows? Might even get a crazy carom off that odd-shaped brick facade on the right-field wall, resulting in the first Series inside-the-park home run since 1929.
Yep, loads of fun.
Hosmer, Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas and most of the Royals will get their first look at quirky AT&T Park during a workout Thursday. Then it's on to Game 3 on Friday with Kansas City and the Giants tied at 1-all. Tim Hudson starts for San Francisco against Jeremy Guthrie.
The Royals' only trip to San Francisco came in 2005 and they took two of three. Buddy Bell was the manager, Tony Graffanino batted third and Jeremy Affeldt was in the bullpen.
The 35-year-old Affeldt now pitches for the Giants and came on in relief Wednesday night in a 7-2 loss. He said he figured the Royals could handle the new park.
"That's an athletic team over there. So I think they can make adjustments. I don't think we'll go in thinking that they're at a disadvantage because of not being at our ballpark," he said.
About one-third of the Royals have played at AT&T Park with other teams. Of the most frequent visitors, Josh Willingham has hit .352 with five homers in 16 games and Omar Infante has batted .307 in 19 games, STATS said.
Among the pitchers, Guthrie did fine in two starts and Jason Frasor made two relief appearances.
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain played one game at the stadium in 2010 when he was with Milwaukee. The AL Championship Series MVP plans to practice with coach Rusty Kuntz to "work on my angles and see how the park plays."
"It's kind of a work in progress and a wait-and-see type thing," Cain said.
Lincecum will be available for Game 3
Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum has no structural damage in his tight back and is expected to be available when the World Series resumes with Game 3 on Friday night.
"That's the plan," athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said via text message late Thursday with word an MRI exam on Lincecum's back was all clear.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner was walked off the field by Groeschner during the eighth inning of San Francisco's 7-2 loss at Kansas City in Game 2 when his left lower back tightened. Lincecum retired five straight before exiting during Salvador Perez's at-bat.
Before Lincecum had further tests, the Giants were waiting to find out how serious the injury was and whether they would have to replace him on the World Series roster. He played catch at AT&T Park early Thursday evening once the team returned to the Bay Area from Kansas City.
"Timmy feels pretty good today," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday. "If something's going on, then it's obvious we'll have to make the change. But my hope is he's fine, and if he is, then I think he'll be good to go tomorrow."
Lincecum hadn't pitched since Sept. 28, not called upon out of the bullpen during the NL Division Series against Washington or the NLCS versus St. Louis. Lincecum missed pregame introductions before Game 1 Tuesday because he was vomiting.
Strickland apologizes for outburst
Hunter Strickland apologized Thursday for the way he handled himself in Game 2 of the World Series after giving up yet another postseason home run.
Strickland caused the benches to clear Wednesday night when he shouted at Kansas City's Salvador Perez after yielding a two-run homer in the sixth inning to Omar Infante in San Francisco's 7-2 loss. Strickland first shouted at himself, which caught the attention of Perez, who was going home from second base and shouted back. That led Strickland to yell back at Perez and the benches to clear.
"I'm embarrassed about it," Strickland said. "I was in the moment. I took it a little too far and my emotions got to me. There's no hard feelings toward anybody. It's just what happens. I'm going to own up for what I did."
The homer was the fifth given up this postseason by Strickland, a hard-throwing rookie who didn't allow a run in seven innings after being called up from the minors in September. That ties the record for the most allowed by a reliever in a single postseason, set by Milwaukee's Chris Naverson in 2011.
World Series gets small ratings boost
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 Royals' 7-2 win over the Giants were an increase of 6% 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.