^

Sports

2-hitter sends Mets reeling anew: Cueto propels Royals to 2-0

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Following the final out, after Johnny Cueto completed his two-hitter, several hundred fans remained in Kauffman Stadium, wanting one more look at the Kansas City Royals.

The next time they see Eric Hosmer and his teammates may be in a parade.

After smothering the Mets 7-1 Wednesday night with Cueto and their pesky offense, the Royals have a 2-0 World Series lead and can capture their first title since 1985 when play resumes at New York’s Citi Field this weekend.

Rather than look ahead and anticipate a celebration, Hosmer thought back to Kansas City’s crushing seven-game loss to the Giants in 2014.

“There’s still a lot of work yet to do,” he said. “Last year we took a 2-1 lead in San Francisco and were feeling pretty good about ourselves.”

Kansas City wore down Jacob deGrom with persistence and prowess, then pounced. Hosmer hit a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs in a four-run fifth inning that included 14 foul balls.

Nineteen hours after Hosmer’s sacrifice fly won a 14-inning thriller, Cueto varied his delivery with occasional quick pitches and kept the Mets off balance. An excited crowd stood on its feet for long stretches to cheer on the rainy night. Some fans wore wigs resembling Cueto’s long, dark dreadlocks – including the Royals’ mascot, Slugerrr.

After Thursday’s day off, Citi Field hosts its first Series game Friday. Forty-one of the 51 teams to take 2-0 leads in best-of-seven World Series have gone on to win the title, including nine straight since Atlanta stumbled against the New York Yankees in 1996.

“I don’t want it coming back here,” Alcides Escobar said. “I want to finish it there.”

Kansas City had the best contact hitters in the major league this season, missing on just 19.7 percent of swings, according to STATS. The Dodgers and Cubs swung and missed 58 times in deGrom’s first three postseason outings; even though he threw at up to 98 mph, deGrom got just three swings and misses against the Royals – his career low.

“We don’t swing and miss,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. “We find ways to just keep putting the ball in play until you find holes.”

Of deGrom’s 94 pitches, 23 were fouled off.

“I’ve learned that they hit mistakes very well,” Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud said. “I’ve learned that they don’t try to do too much with the baseball. They keep the line moving.”

Cueto has struggled on the road, where opposing fans taunt him by repeating his name in a sing-song voice. But since the Royals acquired the free-agent-to-be from Cincinnati in July, he’s been Johnny on the spot at Kauffman Stadium. He pitched two-hit ball over eight innings to win Game 5 of the Division Series against Houston, and Kansas City lined up its Series rotation to have Cueto starting Games 2 and 6 at home.               

ACIRC

AFTER THURSDAY

ALCIDES ESCOBAR

CITI FIELD

CUETO

DIVISION SERIES

HOSMER

KANSAS CITY

KAUFFMAN STADIUM

NBSP

WORLD SERIES

Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with