The Latest: Conforto in Mets lineup, Morales sits for Royals
NEW YORK (AP) The latest on the World Series, where the New York Mets beat the Kansas City Royals 9-3 in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night (all times EDT):
David Wright and Curtis Granderson homered, rookie Noah Syndergaard pitched six effective innings and the New York Mets roughed up the Kansas City Royals 9-3 Friday night, cutting their World Series deficit to 2-1.
Shut down in Kansas City, the Mets came out swinging in the first Series game at Citi Field. Wright launched a two-run homer in the first inning and finished with four RBIs as New York broke loose for 12 hits.
Syndergaard set a serious tone with the first pitch, firing a 97 mph fastball to the backstop that sent Alcides Escobar to the dirt and got the crowd buzzing.
Syndergaard struggled early, but the Mets took the lead after a back-and-forth start, chased Yordano Ventura and pulled away.
The Mets will try to even things in Game 4 on Halloween night, when hometown rookie Steven Matz starts against Chris Young, who won the opener in relief.
Mets starter Noah Syndergaard works out of a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the sixth inning to keep New York ahead 5-3. Syndergaard struck out Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer to start the inning, but Mike Moustakas singled and Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon walked. With Bartolo Colon warming up in the bullpen, Alex Rios grounded out to shortstop.
Raul A. Mondesi, added to Kansas City's roster on Tuesday, became the first player to make his major league debut in the World Series. The 20-year-old son of 1994 NL Rookie of the Year Raul Mondesi, pinch hit in the fifth inning Friday night with the Royals trailing the New York Mets 5-3. He struck out on four pitches.
Mondesi hit .243 with six homers and 33 RBIs this year at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Yordano Ventura is done - after 3 1-3 innings. He was lifted for left-hander Danny Duffy before Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard was to bat with runners on first and third.
New York increased its lead to 5-3 on Michael Conforto's infield hit to first baseman Eric Hosmer. With runners on second and third, Hosmer ranged far from the bag to snag Conforto's grounder. Ventura failed to cover first and Hosmer was late getting back to the base.
Ventura allowed seven hits and five runs.
When the Mets are in the World Series, there is a pretty good chance their No. 1 hitter will homer.
Curtis Granderson's two-run drive off Yordano Ventura in the third inning gave New York a 4-3 lead. The homer, which just cleared the wall in the right-field corner, followed a leadoff single by pitcher Noah Syndergaard.
In three of the Mets' four previous Series Game 3s, New York led off its half of the first with a home run: Tommy Agee against Baltimore's Jim Palmer in 1969; Wayne Garrett off Oakland's Catfish Hunter in 1973 and Lenny Dysktra against Boston's Oil Can Boyd in 1986.
This was the first World Series game with three lead changes in the first three innings, STATS said.
George Brett's credentials spoke for themselves.
When the Royals Hall of Famer came through the security checkpoint before the game, he didn't quite undergo the same screening as other fans, officials and media members.
As Brett walked in, though, one of the guards playfully poked Brett, now a team executive.
''He's got pine tar in his bag!'' the guard said.
Brett had no reaction, he didn't seem to hear the remark. Or maybe he's heard it plenty.
The relentless Royals get the lead right back, using four singles and a passed ball to go up 3-2 in the second inning. The Mets got help from a replay review or the damage could have been worse.
Salvador Perez blooped a broken bat single down the left field line and Alex Gordon followed with a hit. Alex Rios then singled to left, scoring Perez. Gordon was at first called safe sliding into third base, but New York challenged after David Wright indicated to the dugout he got the tag in first. The umpires in the replay room in Manhattan agreed: Gordon was out.
Pitcher Yordano Ventura sacrificed Rios to third, and Rios scored when Travis d'Arnaud failed to catch Noah Syndergaard's curveball, with the ball going through the catcher's legs for only his second passed ball this year.
Syndergaard has thrown 39 pitches through two innings.
A missed chance by New York to turn an inning-ending double play put Kansas City ahead in the first inning, but Mets captain David Wright hit a two-run homer in the bottom half in his first World Series plate appearance at Citi Field.
Ben Zobrist hit a one-out double off Noah Syndergaard after taking a close 100 mph that worked the count full and advanced on Lorenzo Cain's infield hit, a slow bouncer to third. Eric Hosmer grounded to first baseman Lucas Duda, who threw to Wilmer Flores at second for the force. Syndergaard and Duda both converged at first for the shortstop's return throw, and the pitcher grabbed the ball, off first base, as Hosmer reached and Zobrist scored.
Snydergaard induced three swings and misses among his first 12 pitches, matching Jacob deGrom's entire total in his Game 2 outing.
Curtis Granderson reached on an infield hit leading off the bottom half, and Wright sent a 96 mph pitch from Yordano Ventura 385 feet into the left-field seats for a 2-1 lead.
Game 3 gets underway with the Mets' Noah Syndergaard throwing a 98 mph pitch over the head of Royals leadoff batter Alcides Escobar, one way to keep Escobar from swinging at the first pitch.
Escobar struck out on a 99 mph fastball.
Former Mets catcher Mike Piazza threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the start of Game 3. The star of the 2000 Subway Series team, Piazza threw his pitch to backup catcher Kevin Plawecki from the Citi Field mound, standing just in front of rubber.
New Yorker Billy Joel sang the national anthem.
Andrew McCutchen was selected the winner of the Roberto Clemente award, the second Pittsburgh player to earn baseball's honor for sportsmanship and community involvement,
The only previous Pittsburgh winner was Willie Stargell in 1974.
Clemente, a Hall of Famer for the Pirates from 1955-72, died on New Year's Eve in 1972 while on a charter plane that crashed after takeoff. The plan was carrying relief aid to Nicaragua following an earthquake.
Royals Game 4 starter Chris Young already has a win in this World Series. He pitched the final three innings of Kansas City's thrilling victory in the opener. He didn't give up a hit and struck out four in a 53-pitch outing.
He'll effectively be working on three days' rest when he takes the mound Saturday, but it hasn't changed any of his preparations.
''I came in yesterday and got my normal routine in and just treating it as a normal start,'' he said. ''Like I've said, I'm here to do whatever the team needs, whether that's relieve or start. And my body feels fine, physically, I'm not worried about bouncing back and excited to be out there tomorrow.''
Edinson Volquez, who made his Game 1 start Tuesday night, hours after his father died, should rejoin the Royals in New York on Saturday.
Volquez said he learned about his father's death when he stepped off the mound after allowing three runs over six innings. He then flew home to the Dominican Republic.
''Yeah, he's still slated to pitch Game 5,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''We should see Eddie tomorrow. He'll be ready to go.''
Volquez's father, 63-year-old Daniel Volquez, died of heart failure.
Former Mets general manager Steve Phillips, now a broadcaster for SiriusXM, remembers the Mets have Mike Hampton to thank for David Wright.
New York selected Wright with the 38th overall pick of the 2001 amateur draft, which the Mets were given as compensation when Hampton became a free agent after the 2000 World Series and signed with Colorado. Hampton cited the Denver area educational system as a factor in his decision.
''And the school system is still, I guess, great in Colorado, from what I understand,'' Phillips said.
After watching the Mets get just two hits and one run against Johnny Cueto in Game 2, New York manager Terry Collins made just a slight change to his starting lineup: Yoenis Cespedes moves from left to center in place of Juan Lagares, and Michael Conforto shifts to left in the National League ballpark from designated hitter.
Cespedes, who had a painkiller injection in a shoulder last week, was 1 for 10 with no RBIs in the opening two games. Daniel Murphy is 2 for 9 with no RBIs after entering the Series with home runs in six straight games.
''They get hot, and you hope it lasts forever, and you know it's not,'' Collins said. ''That's the game. The game is going to humble you sometimes. They're making good pitches on him. They're not giving him much to hit. They've got good scouts, too. So when you execute the game plan against certain guys, it's tough to get hits against good pitching.''
Collins doesn't mind if the Royals pitch around Murphy to face Cespedes.
''I like that. Get him up there with guys on.'' Collins said. ''With one swing of the bat he can change the game, and I hope tonight is the night.''
Kansas City's only change was the loss of its designated hitter, No. 5 batter Kendrys Morales.
New York left-hander Steven Matz will be sleeping in his childhood bed before making a Game 4 start Saturday. The 24-year-old Matz grew up about 50 miles from Citi Field - and Shea Stadium - on Long Island. The lifelong Mets fan says the trip takes about an hour and he's been doing it much of his rookie season in the big leagues.
''We're on off hours, so there's not much traffic. It's not too terrible,'' Matz said. ''It's been pretty awesome to be able to do that.''
Living so close comes at a price, though. Matz is going to have a sizable cheering section at Citi Field.
''It's the World Series, so tickets are pretty tight here,'' Matz said. ''But there's definitely going to be a huge amount of family members attending.''
Kansas will move a preseason exhibition basketball game if it appears the matchup could conflict with a World Series Game 7.
The Jayhawks are scheduled to play Pittsburg State on Wednesday at 8 p.m., a few minutes before a seventh game between the Royals and New York Mets would start. To minimize confusion, the basketball game would be shifted to the following night if the Series is extended to six games, ensuring a return to Kansas City.
''We love the roll the Royals are on, and we know that interest in this Series is sky-high in this area,'' Jayhawks coach Bill Self said Friday. ''Many of our Jayhawk fans will want to attend or watch Game 7 next Wednesday, if it goes that far, and we don't want them to have to make a choice.''