Thu, Oct 29, 2015 - Page 20 News List

Royals outlast Mets for 14th-inning win

SECOND CHANCE:Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly to bring in the winning run, making up for a fielding error that put New York up in the eighth

AP, KANSAS CITY, Missouri

The Kansas City Royals’ Eric Hosmer watches his sacrifice fly, which allowed teammate Alcides Escobar to score the go-ahead run, in the 14th inning in Game 1 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri, on Tuesday.

Photo: AFP

Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer hit a sacrifice fly in the 14th inning to drive in Alcides Escobar for the winning run and give the Royals a 5-4 win against the New York Mets in the longest opening game in World Series history.

Shortly after the clock ticked over from Tuesday night to yesterday morning, the Royals loaded the bases with no outs in the 14th against veteran Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon.

Hosmer’s fly ball to deep right field was caught by Curtis Granderson, whose strong throw to home was not quite in time to beat the speedy Escobar, and the home fans erupted in joy after 5 hours, 9 minutes of gripping tension.

It was a big game for Escobar, who, on the first pitch of the bottom of the first, hit the first inside-the-park home run in a World Series since 1929.

The Mets rallied from that early setback and led 4-3 when Alex Gordon hit a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie it.

“Tonight was huge,” said Royals pitcher and former Met Chris Young, who pitched the closing innings. “Home run by Alex Gordon and the character and fight, find a way to win late, great team effort.”

In the 14th, Escobar reached first on an error by New York third baseman David Wright. The ball took an awkward hop, and although he gloved in cleanly, he rushed his throw and first baseman Lucas Duda had to step off the base to take it. Ben Zobrist’s single put runners at first and third, and an intentional walk — designed to increase the chances of a subsequent double play — loaded the bases.

Hosmer, trying to avoid a ground ball and that intended double play, got a pitch he could lift into deep right field for the winner.

It was a relief for first baseman Hosmer, whose fielding error in the eighth had put the Mets up 4-3.

“That’s the beauty of this game,” Hosmer said. “Always get a chance to redeem yourself and can’t thank my teammates enough.”

After Hosmer’s error, the Royals were staring down the barrel of a first-up home loss, which is very difficult to recover from in the best-of-seven series.

However, the Royals once again reinforced their reputation for resilience in the face of adversity in playoffs.

Gordon shook the ballpark when he connected sweetly on a fastball from New York closer Jeurys Familia, hitting his shot just over the center field wall. Familia had not blown a save since July 30 and had been nearly perfect this post-season.

“Their team, one of the things we know about them is they’re never down and out,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We’ve got to put them away. We’ve got to do a better job.”

Escobar provided the early excitement. He loves to swing at first pitches, and this time the AL Championship Series MVP produced his best result yet, with the first inside-the-park homer leading off the first since 1903.

Granderson homered and the Mets came back for a 3-1 lead.

Mike Moustakas lined a tying single off Harvey tied it in the sixth.

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