Kansas City have captured their first World Series title in 30 years after defeating the New York Mets four games to one. As became their custom in the playoffs, the Royals were forced to stage a late-inning comeback.
Kansas City went into the ninth inning trailing the Mets by two in New York's Citi Field on Sunday, but scored twice to force the game into extra innings. They then exploded for five runs in the 12th to win Game Five 7-2, to take their first World Series since 1985.
"We never quit. We never put our heads down," said Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who was named the most valuable player of the World Series. "We never think 'OK, the game is over.' No. We always compete to the last out. And that's what we did tonight."
Sunday's win marked a record eight come-from-behind playoff victory in a single season, including each of the Royals' four in the World Series.
"Our guys, you never count them out," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's just a team that never quits, never panics. They just find ways to win."
Lorenzo Cain came through big for the Royals, scoring their first run in that crucial ninth inning before hitting a three-run double in the 12th that end the Mets' dream of winning their first World Series title since 1986.
"We're real disappointed," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I told the guys this is the time to enjoy it and be proud of your accomplishment, but when you get beat at the end of the season, it's not fun."
Collins blamed himself for leaving starting pitcher Matt Harvey in too long after he had stymied the Royals for eight shutout innings.
Harvey walked Cain to open the ninth, and Cain then stole second base, allowing him to race home on Eric Hosmer's double to left field and cut the Mets' lead to 2-1.
Collins then pulled Harvey in favor of closing relief ace Jeurys Familia, who then surrendered a ground out to first by Mike Moustakas that advanced Hosmer to third base.
Perez then grounded out but Hosmer raced home and scored the tying run as an errant desperation throw home by Lucas Duda was way off target, forcing extra innings.
"I've got one of the greatest closers in baseball," Collins said. "I got him in the game a little late. That's inexcusable for me."
However, the Mets manager took some consolation in the example set by the Royals, who bounced back from defeat in the World Series last year.
"They leared what it's like to play in October and they're going to be a lot better because of this experience," Collins said of his team.
pfd (AFP, AP, Reuters)