Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images/AFP
KANSAS CITY, USA - Kansas City pitcher Johnny Cueto allowed only one run on two hits over 9 innings and the Royals routed the New York Mets 7-1 to seize command of the World Series on Wednesday, October 28 (Thursday Manila time).
The 29-year-old dreadlocked Dominican held a New York lineup that had belted at least one home run in 10 consecutive playoff games to the fewest hits in a playoff game in Mets history.
Royals batters hammered New York starter Jacob deGrom for 4 runs on 5 hits in the fifth inning for all the support Cueto needed in a complete game victory.
Kansas City grabbed a 2-0 lead in Major League Baseball's best-of-7 final, which shifts to New York for games 3 and 4 on Friday and Saturday.
The Royals won their only World Series title 30 years ago while the Mets last captured the crown in 1986. Teams falling behind 0-2 in the World Series lose 79 percent of the time and have been beaten in 15 of the past 16 such situations.
The Mets had not managed fewer than 3 hits in any prior playoff game, a record low last reached earlier this month in game four of their playoff series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Cueto and long-haired Mets right-hander deGrom dominated early but the Mets jumped ahead in the fourth inning.
Daniel Murphy walked and Yeonis Cespedes advanced him on a fielder's choice. Umpire Mike Winters ruled Kansas City first baseman Eric Hosmer was pulled off the bag catching the throw from third base, and Royals manager Ned Yost declined to make a video replay challenge.
New York's Lucas Duda followed with a single that scored Murphy to put the Mets ahead 1-0. It was the last hit Cueto would allow.
Kansas City responded by breaking open the game in the fifth as deGrom became the first Mets starter since September 22 to surrender more than 3 runs. He was only tagged for four or more runs six times in 30 regular-season starts.
Alex Gordon walked, took second base on an Alex Rios single and scored on Alcides Escobar's single to pull Kansas City level.
After Ben Zobrist advanced the runners on a ground out to first, Hosmer smacked a single up the middle to score them both and put the Royals ahead to stay. Hosmer took third when Kendrys Morales singled and scored on a Mike Moustakas single for a 4-1 Kansas City edge.
From there, Cueto continued to baffle the Mets. He has allowed only two earned runs over his past 20 innings in home playoff games and would pitch a game 6 if needed in the Royals ballpark.
Kansas city added insurance runs off three Mets relievers in the eighth inning. Moustakas singled, took third on a Salvador Perez double and scored on a Gordon double.
Paulo Orlando, the first Brazilian in the World Series, scored Perez with a sacrifice fly and Escobar tripled to the centerfield wall to score Gordon with the final run.
Fans chanted Cueto's name as he retired the final Mets batters in the ninth to close out his impressive 122-pitch performance. – Rappler.com