Sports

Mets bounce back to rout Royals in World Series

NEW YORK: Curtis Granderson and David Wright each hit two-run homers Friday and the New York Mets bounced back from two losses to rout Kansas City 9-3 in game three of the World Series.

The Royals still lead Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final 2-1 with game four on Saturday in New York.

But the Mets boosted their title hopes since no team has ever won the World Series after losing the first three games.

“This is when we rise up, when we’ve got our backs to the wall,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “They were ready.”

The Mets have not taken the crown since 1986, the year after Kansas City won its only title. In each case, the championship team recovered after losing the first two games.

New York surrendered only one hit past the second inning to humble a Royals batting lineup that scored 12 runs in the first two games.

“To be able to fight back the way we did, it seemed like every time they had an answer we had an answer right back,” Wright said. “To get the momentum back was big.”

Kansas City’s Ben Zobrist opened the scoring when he doubled off the centerfield wall, took third on Lorenzo Cain’s single and crossed home plate when Eric Hosmer grounded into a fielder’s choice.

New York answered in the home half of the first inning when Granderson singled and Wright followed with a home run to left field to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

“This is what you dream about as a kid,” Wright said. “Running around the bases, it’s just like floating. You can’t describe the excitement. It’s one of those memories that will stay with me my whole life.”

The Royals pulled ahead again in the second. Salvador Perez hit a broken-bat single down the left-field line, took third on Alex Gordon’s single and scored on an Alex Rios single, with Rios taking second base after Gordon was thrown out at third.

Kansas City pitcher Yordano Ventura, making a rare batting appearance, advanced Rios to third with a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball missed by Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud allowed Rios to run home for a 3-2 Royals lead.

National League rules used for games at the Mets’ park ban the designated hitters who hit for pitchers under American League rules that usually govern the Royals.

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, among those hurlers who typically bat, singled in the third and Granderson followed with a home run over the rightfield wall to put New York back in front to stay.

“I caught something I could hit and put it out of the ballpark,” Granderson said. “To get this one is definitely a good thing for us. We’re still working on getting comfortable.”

Royals remain confident

Royals manager Ned Yost was surprised Ventura was so ineffective early.

He just wasn’t sharp,” Yost said. “Fastball velocity was down. Made a couple mistakes. It was just one of those days.”

But the Royals, Ventura said, are confident they can win the next two nights to take the crown.

“I think we can finish it off right here,” Ventura said. “There’s two more games here. I know that we can get it done. I don’t expect it to go back to Kansas City.”

The Mets stretched their lead to 5-3 in the fourth on Michael Conforto’s run-scoring single and struck for four runs on three hits in the sixth to seal the victory, the big hit being a Wright single to score two runs.

Syndergaard retired 12 Royals in a row before Mike Moustakas singled with two outs in the sixth. Two walks loaded the bases for Kansas City before Rios grounded out to end the last Royals threat.

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