The Latest: Royals manager Yost bristles at brush-back pitch
NEW YORK (AP) The latest on the World Series, where the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets 5-3 Saturday night to take a 3-1 lead (all times EDT):
The Kansas City Royals rallied for three runs in the eighth inning after second baseman Daniel Murphy's error and startled the New York Mets 5-3 to take a 3-1 lead in the World Series.
The Royals posted their seventh postseason comeback win this October. Now, one more victory in November will clinch their first crown since 1985.
Edinson Volquez, who pitched Game 1 for Kansas City only hours after his father died, has returned from the funeral and will start Game 5 Sunday night. Matt Harvey goes for the Mets.
A magical month for Daniel Murphy has just fallen apart.
The Mets second baseman let a grounder roll under his glove for an error in the eighth inning that helped Kansas City score three times for a 5-3 lead.
The misplay came with runners on first and second and one out. Eric Hosmer hit a chopper and Murphy charged, only to see it get past him. The tying run scored on the play, and Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez followed with RBI singles.
A sellout crowd at Citi Field that was hoping to see the Mets tie the Series gasped at the misplay, then went silent as the Royals kept scoring.
Addison Reed gets a pair of line-drive outs in a 1-2-3 seventh, and the Mets are six out from tying the World Series at two games apiece.
Lorenzo Cain's run-scoring single in the sixth inning cuts Kansas City's deficit to 3-2 and chases Mets rookie starter Steven Matz.
Ben Zobrist opened the inning with his eighth double of the postseason, tying the record held by Albert Pujols and David Freese from 2011 with St. Louis.
Cain followed with a single to center and Matz was pulled by manager Terry Collins. The left-hander was greeted by teammate Matt Harvey and then walked about 10 feet before slamming his glove down on the bench with his right hand.
Jonathon Niese got two outs and Bartolo Colon struck out Salvador Perez with a runner on third to preserve the Mets' lead.
On the 10th pitch of the at-bat, Colon finally fanned Perez with an 84 mph slider.
Both starters are out of the game - Kansas City right-hander Chris Young was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the fifth.
Michael Conforto hits his second homer of the night to give the Mets a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning.
Called up directly from Double-A on July 24, Conforto is the fifth rookie to hit two home runs in a World Series game and first since 19-year-old Andruw Jones for the Atlanta Braves in the 1996 opener at Yankee Stadium, according to STATS.
The others were Charlie Keller (1939) and Tony Kubek (1957) for the New York Yankees, and Willie McGee (1982) for St. Louis.
Conforto entered the game 2 for 22 (.091) with a homer and four RBIs this postseason. He became the sixth Mets player to hit two homers in a postseason game. The previous one was Carlos Beltran in the 2006 NLCS against the Cardinals.
The only other Mets player to go deep twice in a World Series game was Hall of Famer Gary Carter in Game 4 against Boston at Fenway Park in 1986.
Conforto didn't face many left-handers this season, but his second homer came on a curveball from southpaw reliever Danny Duffy.
Kansas City gets on the board against rookie Steven Matz in the fifth.
Salvador Perez hit a sinking liner to center that turned into a double when Yoenis Cespedes accidentally kicked it into left field as he reached down to try to make the catch. Alex Gordon followed with an RBI single on a hanging curve.
Pinch-hitter Kendrys Morales singled with two outs, by Matz prevented further damage by retiring Alcides Escobar on a fly to right.
Michael Conforto's leadoff home run in the third against Chris Young and a gaffe by Kansas City right fielder Alex Rios later in the inning gave the Mets a 2-0 lead.
Conforto, a rookie who did not face Young during his relief outing in the 14-inning opener, pulled an 87 mph pitch 395 feet into the right field upper deck.
Wilmer Flores singled, ending an 0-for-10 Series start, advanced on a wild pitch and was sacrificed to third by Mets starter Steven Matz.
Curtis Granderson hit a 254-foot fly ball to right. Rios caught it and took a casual step toward Kansas City's dugout, apparently thinking it was the final out of the inning. In the middle of his second step, he threw to the plate, but not in time to get Flores coming home from third.
Kansas City asked umpires to check whether Flores left third base early. After a video review of 2 minutes, 22 seconds, the safe call on the field was upheld.
Major League Baseball said: ''After a proper appeal was made by the defensive team immediately following the play, the replay official could not definitively determine that the runner left the base prior to the ball touching the fielder's glove. The call STANDS. The runner is safe.''
Bill Welke is the replay official in Manhattan.
Toronto Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson, speaking at the Hank Aaron Award news conference, was asked how he came up with his ''BringerOfRain'' Twitter handle.
''It was actually a series called `Spartacus: Blood and Sand,''' he said. ''And the main character's name, Spartacus, and he becomes a gladiator. To make a long story short, he's fighting this guy, his name is Theokoles. He's a legend in the ring. The story is he's been stabbed a thousand times. I mean, it's crazy. To say the least, Spartacus ends up defeating him and killing him, and their country was in a drought at the time. And after he was able to defeat him, the rain had been brought. So he was called Spartacus, `Bringer of Rain.' I thought it was pretty neat, so I stole it.''
Edinson Volquez remains scheduled to start Game 5 for the Royals following his father's death, pending a conversation with manager Ned Yost.
The pitcher was in the Kansas City dugout Saturday night during Game 4 at Citi Field.
''I've got to sit down and talk to Edi. But we're still planning on him pitching tomorrow,'' Yost said before the game.
Volquez started the Series opener Tuesday night, hours after his father died. 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.
''These are huge games. Edi's been with this team all year long. He's worked so hard to get to this point,'' Yost said. ''And it was like Chris Young when his dad passed away. Chris just knew how proud his dad was of him and that his dad would want him to carry on. His dad would want him to be on that mound and helping his team win. And I imagine that Edi's dad would want the same thing.''
Volquez's father, 63-year-old Daniel Volquez, died of heart failure.
Toronto's Josh Donaldson won the American League's Hank Aaron Award and Washington's Bryce Harper was voted the NL honor.
The award, established in 1999, is given to the most outstanding offensive performer in each league as determined by fans and a panel of` Hall of Famers selected by Aaron.
Donaldson hit .297 with 122 runs, 41 doubles, 41 homers and 123 RBIs as the Blue Jays reached the playoffs for the first time since winning the 1993 title. Harper batted .330 with 118 runs, 38 doubles, 42 homers and 99 RBIs.
Well, plate umpire Jim Wolf came out firing.
Known for a good arm - his brother is big league pitcher Randy Wolf - he tried to fire a strike when Royals starter Chris Young took the mound to begin the bottom of the first inning. Instead, Wolf tossed it right past the 6-foot-10 righty.
Wolf wound up again and his second throw was right on the money. Young and Wolf seemed to smile, enjoying the moment.
Starting pitchers Steven Matz and Chris Young are ready to throw. So is plate umpire Jim Wolf.
Wolf is known around baseball for tossing sharp strikes back to the pitcher after foul balls. It makes sense - his brother is major league pitcher Randy Wolf.
This is Wolf's first year working the World Series, and this is his first plate job. A former pitcher in college, the right-hander was set.
''If my elbow cracks on my first throw, I'm good,'' he said. ''I'm ready. I'm here, I got to try it out.''
Ruben Tejada thinks Chase Utley's late slide that broke his right leg was dirty.
Speaking about the play for the first time since Utley ended Tejada's season in Game 2 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Mets shortstop said he's no longer upset over it.
Using a blue cane adorned with a Mets logo giving to him by the team's owners, Tejada hung out with teammates in the dugout before Game 4 of the World Series.
He says he's come to terms with what happened, even though he never responded to the message Utley sent him through captain David Wright. Tejada may never respond to Utley. But he's not angry.
''I'm really happy we're here and he's home,'' Tejada said.
Tejada said he needs to be in a walking boot for two more weeks, but vows he'll be ready for spring training.
If the scouting report on David Wright was to go after him with hard stuff, Wright made the Royals pay for that approach in Game 3.
The New York Mets' captain hit a two-run homer in the first inning on a 96 mph fastball from Yordano Ventura.
According to Major League Baseball's PITCH f/x computer, that was the second home run on a pitch of 96 mph or greater that Wright hit since it began tracking data in 2007. The other was against Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel in 2013.
Wright added a two-run single on a 97 mph fastball from reliever Kelvin Herrera in the sixth.
Noah Syndergaard's high-and-tight fastball to Alcides Escobar was still a hot topic before Game 4.
The rookie's first pitch Friday night for the Mets was a 97 mph heater just off the inside corner and above the head of a ducking Escobar. The ball sailed all the way to the backstop, and the Kansas City shortstop went down to the dirt on his rear end.
Royals players shouted angrily at Syndergaard from the dugout. After the game, the young right-hander made it clear the pitch indeed had a purpose - to make Escobar and the rest of the Royals uncomfortable in the batter's box.
Syndergaard had alluded Thursday to having ''a few tricks'' up his sleeve for the aggressive Escobar leading off the game.
''I didn't expect him to throw a strike, but I didn't expect him to throw it under his chin, either,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ''But we've got a few tricks up our sleeves, too.''
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Syndergaard said he certainly wasn't trying to hit Escobar.
''If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60 feet, 6 inches away. I've got no problem with that,'' he said.
Yost said throwing near an opponent's head is too dangerous, even if the intent is not to hit him.
''You can end a player's career by not intentionally hitting them in the head,'' the manager said.
Yost views the chest as the dividing line these days for what's acceptable when pitching inside.
''You've seen us at times with Daniel Murphy pitch in on him, but it's never been up and in,'' Yost said. ''It was an acceptable thing to be able to move guys away, up top. And we've kind of gotten away from that now.''
Mets manager Terry Collins thought Syndergaard's purpose pitch set a tone.
''Hey, look, we're in this World Series, too, and we're going to get after it,'' Collins said, adding it showed Syndergaard is ''not afraid of anybody.''
Collins called pitching inside ''a lost art'' and acknowledged ''guys take a huge offense to it.''
''But I still think it's got to be part of the game,'' Collins said.