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Mets’ offense wakes up, takes down the Royals in Game 3 of the World Series

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A pair of early two-run home runs, a solid outing by Noah Syndergaard, and a middle-innings offensive explosion allowed the Mets to finally take a game from the Royals in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night at Citi Field, winning by a 9-3 margin. Falling down zero games to three in the best-of-seven series would have been disastrous for the Mets, needless to say.

Starter Noah Sydnergaard was shaky early, allowing two hits that led to a run in the first inning, then serving up four hits that led to two runs in the second. He settled down from there, however, retiring 12 batters at one point before he was done after six innings. He finished having allowed the three runs on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

Meanwhile, the Mets watched David Wright crank out a two-run home run to left field in the first and Curtis Granderson hit a two-run shot of his own in the third inning, the latter of which gave them a lead they would not relinquish. The Mets tacked on one more run against Royals starter Yordano Ventura in the fourth inning on two singles and a double, chasing the right-hander with one out in the frame. Lefty reliever Danny Duffy escaped the inning without further damage, so Ventura was on the hook for five runs on seven hits and no walks with one strikeout in 3 1/3 innings.

The Mets got to the Royals’ bullpen in the sixth inning, scoring four times against lefty Franklin Morales and right-hander Kelvin Herrera. The duo yielded three singles, a walk, a hit batsman, and Morales made a mistake on a comebacker that didn’t result in an out, helping the Mets ultimately pad their lead to 9-3.

Addison Reed took over for Syndergaard in the seventh inning and retired the Royals in 1-2-3 fashion. Tyler Clippard handled the eighth, working a 1-2-3 frame of his own. Stunningly, Mets manager Terry Collins opted to use closer Jeurys Familia to protect a six-run lead in the ninth inning. The Mets, if they play all seven games in the World Series, would have to complete five games in the span of six days, so opting for another day of rest for Familia might not have been the worst idea. Nevertheless, Familia got through the inning easily, getting Salvador Perez to ground out, Alex Gordon to strike out, and pinch-hitter Kendrys Morales to ground out to end the game.

The World Series, now 2-1 in the Royals’ favor, continues on Saturday night with Game 4, starting at 8 PM EDT. The Royals will start right-hander Chris Young and the Mets will start lefty Steven Matz.

Cardinals-White Sox opener pushed back to Saturday

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CHICAGO — St. Louis’ series opener against the Chicago White Sox has been postponed to Saturday, giving the Cardinals an extra day to recover from a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Cardinals, who haven’t played since July 29, were set to resume their season Friday night in Chicago. But the series opener was pushed back to a straight doubleheader on Saturday afternoon, the beginning of an extended stay in the Windy City for the Cards.

There was no word from Major League Baseball on the postponement, but John Mozeliak, the president of baseball operations for the Cardinals, confirmed the move in a conference call with reporters. Mozeliak also said the team is going to play doubleheaders on Monday and Wednesday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field after the NL Central rivals had a series postponed last weekend.

Two people with direct knowledge of the situation also confirmed the postponement of the series opener against the White Sox. The people spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because MLB had not announced the schedule change.

The Cardinals’ season has been derailed by the coronavirus. Star catcher Yadier Molina and infielder Paul DeJong are among the players who have tested positive.

St. Louis, the defending NL Central champions, has played just five games, winning two. It seems unlikely that it will be able to make up every one of its games that have been postponed during the pandemic-delayed season.

While announcing Sunday night that St. Louis’ series against Pittsburgh had been postponed, MLB said the league and the Cardinals believed it was “prudent to conduct additional testing while players and staff are quarantined before the team returns to play.”