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Dublin: 10°C Monday 10 May 2021

There was late drama in Game 4 of the World Series last night

The Kansas City Royals can clinch baseball’s biggest prize later tonight.

Lorenzo Cain of the Royals celebrates.
Lorenzo Cain of the Royals celebrates.
Image: David J. Phillip

WITH A TRADEMARK late-game comeback, the Kansas City Royals reached the brink of their first World Series crown in 30 years by defeating the New York Mets 5-3.

Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning with singles to plate the winning runners as the Royals seized a 3-1 lead in Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final.

The Royals could capture the crown for the first time since 1985 with a victory in game five later tonight while the Mets, who have not won the World Series since 1986, must win to send the series back to Kansas City.

“It feels great,” Moustakas said. “We’ve got to come back to work and find a way to beat these guys again, but it’s nice being up 3-1.”

No team has rallied from 3-1 down to win the World Series since the 1985 Royals.

“We’re in a tough situation but we’re not dead yet,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Kansas City, which lost last year’s World Series in seven games to San Francisco, also came from behind to win the first two games of this year’s World Series and in all have fought back after trailing in seven of 10 playoff triumphs this year.

“It’s a group of guys that have the utmost confidence in themselves,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “They are going to go out and they’re going to find a way to win.

“We feel like if we can keep the game close, we’re going to find a way to win it. If we find a little crack, they’re going to make something happen. It’s amazing how they do that. It’s just a phenomenal group.”

Source: MLB/YouTube

The Royals’ six playoff rallies to win from two or more runs down this October ties a major league record set by the 1996 New York Yankees.

“It’s experience. It’s character. It’s a group of really talented players. But a lot of it I think is a mindset,” Yost said. “They never panic because they’ve been through it before and they know that they’re capable of doing it again.”

The Mets were leading 3-2 in the eighth inning when relief pitcher Tyler Clippard walked Ben Zobrist and Lorenzo Cain, prompting Collins to insert closing 26-year-old Dominican right-handed relief ace Jeurys Familia.

But Kansas City’s Eric Hosmer chopped an infield ground ball that went under the glove of Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy for an error that scored Zobrist to make it 3-3.

Moustakas followed with a single that plated Cain and Perez then smacked a single to right, his third hit of the game, to score Hosmer with the final run.

“It was certainly one of those situations where we couldn’t stop the bleeding,” Collins said. “They truly don’t ever stop. They have very good lineup from top to bottom. They can do a lot of things. We had our opportunity. We didn’t make the plays we needed to make.”

Royals closer Wade Davis allowed Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes singles in the ninth as tension built, but New York’s Lucas Duda flew out to third baseman Moustakas, who quickly flipped the ball to Hosmer at first to pick off Cespedes and complete a game-ending double play.

“Anybody that can give me the answers of why we’re not hitting in certain situations, I’d like to hear them,” Collins said.

It was a Halloween nightmare for Mets supporters as their team had been only five outs from equalizing the World Series.

Michael Conforto, batting only 2-for-22 in the playoffs, blasted leadoff homers in the third and fifth innings to power the Mets to their 3-2 lead. He became the first rookie since Atlanta’s Andruw Jones in 1996 with a multi-homer World Series contest.

The Mets also scored in the third when Wilmer Flores singled, took second on a wild pitch from Royals starter Chris Young and scored on sacrifice fly outs by pitcher Steven Matz and Curtis Granderson.

In the fifth, Perez doubled and scored on an Alex Gordon single. After Conforto’s second homer, the Royals answered again in the sixth when Zobrist matched a major league playoff record with his eighth playoff double and scored on a Cain single.

- © AFP, 2015

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