Preview

World Series: Royals, Mets ready to roll again after marathon opener

The Mets and Royals return to the diamond Wednesday night following a World Series opener that had just about a bit of everything — from an inside-the-park homer to a network television blackout to a marathon Game 1 that was decided in the bottom of the 14th inning.

Game 2 has tough act to follow

Eric Hosmer flips his bat in the 14th inning as his sacrifice fly to right field was enough to cash Alcides Escobar with the winning run in a 5-4 Royals victory over the Mets to open the World Series. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It was a World Series opener that had just about a bit of everything — from an inside-the-park homer to a television blackout to a marathon Game 1 that was decided in the bottom of the 14th inning, in favour of the home team.

On Wednesday the Royals and the Mets renew the drama with Game 2 in Kansas City (8 p.m. ET). 

Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly ended a five-hour, nine-minute classic as the Royals delivered a 5-4 victory in the opener. Tied for the longest Series game ever, it ended at 12:18 a.m. local time (1:18 a.m. ET)

"It was a great night," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Two things you don't want in Game 1 of the World Series: One is to go 14 innings and the other is to lose."

"To find a way to grind that way out against a great team, both teams were matching pitch for pitch," he said.

Hosmer recorded two RBIs to raise his post-season career total to 25, eclipsing the franchise record he shared with the legendary George Brett (23). Alex Gordon smacked a one-out, ninth-inning homer to forge a tie and an error by New York third baseman David Wright opened the door in the 14th for Hosmer's fly to right that plated Alcides Escobar.

"I wanted to redeem myself for what happened earlier," Hosmer said, referring to an eighth-inning error he committed that gave New York a 4-3 lead. "That's the beauty of this game. Always get a chance to redeem yourself and can't thank my teammates enough."

New York will be seeking redemption of its own in Game 2 after shutdown closer Jeurys Familia allowed his first run of the post-season by serving up Gordon's tying blast.

Pitching matchup

Mets RH Jacob deGrom (3-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Royals RH Johnny Cueto (1-1, 7.88)

The 27-year-old deGrom was passed over for the Game 1 start in favour of an extra day of rest as manager Terry Collins noticed he needed more time.

"For me, that is that release point, that consistent release point you have to make the pitches," Collins explained during his media conference. "If you start to get a little fatigued, that hand just doesn't catch up sometimes. That's why we wanted to give him an extra day, because the last time we pushed him back a little bit, he came out throwing great."

The well-rested deGrom has struck out 27 and allowed just 15 hits in 20 post-season innings.

Cueto was a major disappointment for the Royals in the regular season and gave up eight runs in two-plus innings while losing his lone American League Championship Series start against Toronto. He has an eye on cashing in as a free agent after the season and repeatedly has said he was going to be the "real Johnny Cueto" during the post-season.

"My ups and downs have been — it's just part of the game," Cueto said at a press conference. "I've pitched some good games as well. Obviously, the year is not over. And all I'm focused on is trying to go out and help this team win."

Walk-offs

  • Escobar's inside-the-park homer extended his post-season hitting streak to 11 games. It was the first inside-the-park home run to lead off a World Series game since 1903 when Patsy Doherty led off the bottom of the first in Game 2 with a home run for the Boston Americans.
  • Mets 2B Daniel Murphy went 2-for-7 in the opener, but his record streak of hitting a home run in six straight post-season games reached an end.
  • Kansas City 2B Ben Zobrist recorded three hits in Game 1 and is batting .347 in 49 at-bats this post-season.

With files from SportsDirect Inc., Associated Press

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