NEW YORK (AFP) – Curtis Granderson and David Wright each hit two-run homers Friday and the New York Mets bounced back from two losses to rout Kansas City 9-3 in game three of the World Series.
The Royals still lead Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final 2-1 with game four on Saturday in New York.
But the Mets boosted their title hopes since no team has ever won the World Series after losing the first three games.
The Mets have not taken the crown since 1986, the year after Kansas City won its only title. In each case, the championship team recovered after losing the first two games.
New York surrendered only one hit past the second inning to humble a Royals batting lineup that scored 12 runs in the first two games.
Kansas City’s Ben Zobrist opened the scoring when he doubled off the centerfield wall, took third on Lorenzo Cain’s single and crossed home plate when Eric Hosmer grounded into a fielder’s choice.
New York answered in the home half of the first inning when Granderson singled and Wright followed with a home run to left field to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
The Royals pulled ahead again in the second. Salvador Perez hit a broken-bat single down the left-field line, took third on Alex Gordon’s single and scored on an Alex Rios single, with Rios taking second base after Gordon was thrown out at third.
Kansas City pitcher Yordano Ventura, making a rare batting appearance, advanced Rios to third with a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball missed by Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud allowed Rios to run home for a 3-2 Royals lead.
National League rules used for games at New York ban the designated hitters who hit for pitchers under American League rules usually used by the Royals.
Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, among those who bat when they play, singled in the third and Granderson followed with a home run over the rightfield wall to put New York back in front to stay.
The Mets stretched their lead to 5-3 in the fourth on Michael Conforto’s run-scoring single, but Royals relief pitcher Danny Duffy entered to end the damage.
Syndergaard retired 12 Royals in a row before Mike Moustakas singled with two outs in the sixth. Two walks loaded the bases for Kansas City before Rios grounded out to end the threat.
New York struck again in the sixth as Juan Lagares singled, took second when Wilmer Flores was hit by a pitch and scored on Juan Uribe’s single. Granderson reached base on a fielder’s choice to reload the bases, Wright singled in Flores and Uribe while Granderson scored on a Yoennis Cespedes sacrifice fly for a 9-3 Mets edge.
Singer Billy Joel, who performed the US anthem before the game, was treated to the crowd singing an encore rendition of his tune “Piano Man’’ in the eighth inning, Mets fans giddy with the lopsided margin.