After an epic, five-hour-plus battle that went 14 innings last night, the Kansas City Royals host the New York Mets in Game 2 of the World Series tonight at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals won the opener 5-4 in 14 innings Tuesday night. Alex Gordon homered in the ninth off Mets closer Jeurys Familia to tie the game and Kansas City won on Eric Hosmer’s sac fly in the 14th. In the last 20 World Series, the team that won Game 1 won the series 17 times.
In the last of the first, Alcides Escobar of the Royals hit an inside-the-park homer. Here are some notes on that longball:
* It’s the first inside-the-park homer in a World Series since Mule Haas in 1929 for the A’s against the Cubs.
* The last leadoff homer in Game 1 was hit by Dustin Pedroia for the 2007 Red Sox.
* Three players have hit a leadoff homer in Game 1 and two of them, the Orioles’ Don Buford in 1969 and Escobar last night, did so against the Mets. Pedroia was the other. Buford homered off of Tom Seaver.
Familia had converted 21 straight save chances until the ninth-inning homer. His last blown save came one day before the Mets traded for Yoenis Cespedes on July 30 versus the Padres.
Tonight, the Mets try to get even with right-hander Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.54 ERA) facing right-hander Johnny Cueto (4-7, 4.76 ERA). deGrom is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.80 in three playoff starts, all on the road. He has walked five with 27 strikeouts in 20 innings. Cueto is 1-1 with a 7.88 ERA in three postseason starts.
Kansas City’s Ned Yost has a 19-8 managerial record in the postseason. That .704 winning percentage is the best for managers with 20 or more games. The Royals are 8-4 this year.
The Royals have trailed by more than one run in five of their eight postseason victories. The only other team to do that was the 1996 Yankees.
The Drake wins: Minor League Baseball today announced that Orioles right-hander Oliver Drake has been awarded with a MiLBY as the top relief pitcher for the 2015 season. Drake went 1-2 with a 0.82 ERA for Triple-A Norfolk and was 23-for-23 in save opportunities while holding batters to a .151 average.
The Naval Academy product gave up just 23 hits and fanned 66 over 44 innings. Drake made 13 relief appearances for the Orioles, posting a 2.87 ERA while striking out 17 in 15 2/3 innings. Drake, along with right-hander Mychal Givens, was named co-minor league Pitcher of the Year by the Orioles, winning the Jim Palmer Award.
The MiLBY Awards are presented by MiLB.com and are given annually to the most outstanding players, teams, single-game performances and moments throughout each minor league season.