NEW YORK: With a trademark late-game comeback, the Kansas City Royals reached the brink of their first World Series crown in 30 years by defeating the New York Mets 5-3 on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Salvador Perez and Mike Mous¬takas capped a three-run rally in the eighth inning with singles to plate the winning runners as the Royals seized a 3-1 lead in Major League Baseball’s best-of-seven final.
The Royals could capture the crown for the first time since 1985 with a victory in game five Sunday while the Mets, who have not won the World Series since 1986, must win to send the series back to Kansas City.
“It feels great,” Moustakas said. “We’ve got to come back to work and find a way to beat these guys again, but it’s nice being up 3-1.”
No team has rallied from 3-1 down to win the World Series since the 1985 Royals.
“We’re in a tough situation but we’re not dead yet,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Kansas City, which lost last year’s World Series in seven games to San Francisco, also came from behind to win the first two games of this year’s World Series and in all have fought back after trailing in seven of 10 playoff triumphs this year.
“It’s a group of guys that have the utmost confidence in themselves,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “They are going to go out and they’re going to find a way to win.
“We feel like if we can keep the game close, we’re going to find a way to win it. If we find a little crack, they’re going to make something happen. It’s amazing how they do that. It’s just a phenomenal group.”
The Royals’ six playoff rallies to win from two or more runs down this October ties a major league record set by the 1996 New York Yankees.