It looked like the Mets had this one wrapped up. But when they sent in their closer, relief pitcher Jeurys Familia, Kansas City ran off with Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday, beating the Mets 5-3.
They batted in three runs, all in the eighth inning, to up their lead in the Fall Classic to three games to one.
The Royals need one more win to take the Series.
Game 5 will be played Sunday night in New York at 8:15 p.m. ET.
The come-from-behind win was in character for Kansas City, said manager Ned Yost. “If we can keep the game close, in the later innings, we’re going to find a way to win it.”
Mets go up first
In the bottom of the third inning, things looked bright for the Mets.
No. 7 hitter Michael Conforto lit into the first pitch to give the New Yorkers a 1-0 lead.
The Mets got another run later in the inning when Curtis Granderson hit a fly ball to right fielder Alex Rios. The Kansas City outfielder thought he was recording the third out, but it was only the second out.
Rios took two steps before throwing the ball toward home plate, where Wilmer Flores was scoring.
The Royals challenged the play, saying Flores left early. But after review, the call was affirmed.
Kansas City answers
Kansas City put its first point up on the board in the fifth, when left fielder Alex Gordon slapped a breaking ball deep into right field for a single, driving in Salvador Perez. But the Mets answered at the bottom of the inning with a homer from Michael Conforto for a 3-1 lead.
Then, in the sixth, Royals second baseman Ben Zobrist hit a line drive into the wall of left center field for his eighth double of the post season. And on his heels, Lorenzo Cain hit a grounder to the right of second base, and Zobrist ran comfortably across home plate to cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2.
Three runs off the closer
The Mets brought in relief pitcher Familia relatively early — in the eighth inning — and Kansas City scored rapidly three times off of his throws.
First, Eric Hosmer batted in Ben Zobrist for the tie and made it safely to first base himself when Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy made an error, missing the scoop on the short, bouncing hit.
Mike Mousakas, next up at the plate, singled to send in Lorenzo Cain, while Hosmer went from first to third base. But he didn’t stay there long. Salvador Perez cracked Familia’s fast ball deep into right field, and Hosmer crossed the plate to cement Kansas City’s 5-3 win.
Mets second baseman Murphy made a double play to prevent an imminent additional Royals score.
Royals and Mets pitching
Game 1 starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was in the Royals dugout on Saturday after returning from the Dominican Republic. His father died before the Series opener, and Volquez went to the funeral.
“We’re still planning on him pitching (Sunday night),” Kansas City’s Yost said. Volquez said his father was happy to see how successful he has become. “I’m pretty sure my dad is going to be proud of me,” Volquez said.
Even without Volquez, Royals pitchers struck out eight batters.
Mets pitchers were on their game, too, striking out nine Royals batters. But the Royals proved their propensity for making contact, slapping in many runs off of base hits for the win.