Royals outlast Mets in World Series Game 1 marathon

AP Photo/Colin E. Braley

If Game 1 on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium was any indication, this is going to be one highly-memorable World Series.

Alcides Escobar got the Royals on the board first, launching Matt Harvey‘s opening delivery to the warning track in center field and racing all the way around the bases on a Yoenis Cespedes misplay for a leadoff inside-the-park home run. It was the first inside-the-parker in a World Series game since Mule Haas rounded the bags for the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1929 Fall Classic.

Travis d'Arnaud answered Escobar’s first-inning tally in the top of the fourth with an RBI infield single that bounced in and out of the glove of Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas. Curtis Granderson then added a solo shot in the top of the fifth and Michael Conforto plated the Mets’ third run with a sacrifice fly to left field in the top of the sixth.

Kansas City would rally to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, but the Mets took the lead again in the eighth when Wilmer Flores‘ bouncing ground ball got past Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, allowing Juan Lagares to race home from second base. It was the first go-ahead run scored on an error in a World Series game since the Bill Buckner incident in 1986, when the Mets beat the Red Sox to claim their second World Series title.

They’re now trying to claim their third, but it will be an uphill climb of sorts.

Alex Gordon gave Kansas City new life with a game-tying solo shot to center field in the bottom of the ninth — the first game-tying or go-ahead homer in the ninth inning or later of a World Series Game 1 since Kirk Gibson’s famous shot off Dennis Eckersley in 1988. And then Hosmer claimed redemption for his eighth-inning error with a walkoff sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 14th that secured a 5-4 victory for the home team.

At over five hours, it was the longest opening game in World Series history.

This recap didn’t even mention Royals starter Edinson Volquez, who lost his father to heart disease on Tuesday morning and turned in six solid innings against the Mets on Tuesday night. Chris Young was scheduled to start Game 4 but had to be used in relief in Game 1, so Volquez will probably get the call again on Saturday night in New York.

Blue Jays hire Don Mattingly as bench coach

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

TORONTO — Don Mattingly is joining the Toronto Blue Jays as bench coach to manager John Schneider, the team announced.

The former New York Yankees slugger, a six-time All-Star, joins the Blue Jays after seven seasons as manager of the Florida Marlins, where he won NL Manager of the Year honors in 2020.

Mattingly previously spent five seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning three division titles in that span. He also worked as hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees, and as hitting coach of the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.

In Toronto, Mattingly replaces Casey Candaele, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to serve as Schneider’s bench coach after the Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July, replacing him with Schneider. The Blue Jays said Candaele will resume his job as manager of the Triple-A Bisons in 2023.

Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, winning nine Gold Glove awards at first base, three Silver Slugger awards, the 1984 AL batting title and the 1985 AL MVP award.