The Royals started slow Wednesday night but showed they still had the momentum in Game 2, coming to life in a four-run fifth inning (and later in a three-run eighth) to seize the series lead after a 7-1 victory in Kansas City.
It was not the long ball, but a cluster of singles that proved the Mets’ undoing, as five base hits (and one walk) provided the AL Champions the ammunition they needed to leave the Midwest with a commanding advantage.
With victory in site, the Royals added to New York’s misery with some more offense in the eighth.
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With both Johnny Cueto (who tossed the first World Series complete game since Jack Morris in 1991) and Jacob deGrom (five innings, six hits, four runs and two strikeouts) dealing for the first three frames, the first real scoring threat of the game didn’t manifest until the top of the fifth, when Cueto got into trouble with two walks and one out.
After a close call at first on a potential double play, Lucas Duda hit a well-placed bloop base hit to no man’s land in shallow left field, plating Daniel Murphy to put New York ahead 1-0.
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An inning later, however, the Royals posted a four-run frame, snatching the lead from New York thanks to a bevy of clutch hits.
Alcides Escobar took advantage of two base-runners with no outs to start the fifth with an RBI-single while Eric Hosmer poked a two-RBI single through with two outs and two on a few hitters later. Hosmer’s risky decision to take third base on a Kendrys Morales single to set up the Royals’ fourth run on a Mike Moustakas single.
Yoenis Cespedes took advantage of the size of Kauffman Stadium in the bottom of the sixth, robbing Alex Rios of a home run that would have put Kansas City even further ahead.
In the eighth the Royals eyed some insurance — which they got on RBI from Alex Gordon, Paulo Orlando and Escobar, putting the nail in the coffin with a 7-1 lead.
The typically potent Mets offense was kept quiet by Cueto, who held New York to just two hits (the Royals had 10).
Since the year 1903, only thirteen teams have ever overcome an 0-2 deficit to win a best-of-seven series.