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Michael Conforto homers again, pads Mets’ Game 4 lead

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Michael Conforto has had himself a ballgame. The rookie homered for a second time in the fifth inning of Game 5, drilling a Danny Duffy offering over the fence in right-center at Citi Field, bolstering the Mets’ lead to 3-1 over the Royals. Conforto had gone yard in the third inning, breaking a scoreless tie.

Conforto is the first Mets player to homer twice in a World Series game since catcher Gary Carter in Game 4 in 1986 against the Red Sox. Carlos Beltran was the last Met to homer twice in a playoff game, doing so in Game 4 of the 2006 NLCS against the Cardinals. As Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY notes, Conforto is the first rookie to homer twice in a World Series game since Andruw Jones in 1996 against the Yankees

Mets starter Steven Matz has tossed five solid innings, yielding only one run on five hits with no walks and five strikeouts. The Royals finally got to him in the top of the fifth when, with one out, Salvador Perez doubled and Alex Gordon ripped a single to right field to plate Perez.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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