AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Royals score twice in the ninth to tie Game 5

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They say that cockroaches could survive a nuclear winter. Perhaps the Royals could, too. Down 2-0 in the top of the ninth inning against a seemingly-unhittable Matt Harvey, the Royals staged a rally to tie the game and put themselves in a great position to win the World Series.

Harvey had, to that point, thrown eight shutout innings. Pitching coach Dan Warthen informed the pitcher in the bottom of the eighth, when the Mets were batting, that he wouldn’t be returning to the mound for the ninth. A visibly upset Harvey stomped over to manager Terry Collins and pleaded his case. To a cheering crowd at Citi Field, Harvey indeed took the ball to start the ninth inning.

The fairy tale didn’t have the storybook ending. Harvey issued a leadoff walk to Lorenzo Cain, who promptly stole second base with ease. Eric Hosmer then drilled a line drive double over the head of left fielder Michael Conforto, allowing Cain to score the Royals’ first run. That, naturally, prompted Collins to emerge from the dugout and bring in closer Jeurys Familia as was the original plan.

Familia got Mike Moustakas to ground out, but it was to the right side, which moved Hosmer to third base. Salvador Perez appeared to give the Mets a gift, hitting a weak grounder to third base. Because the infield was drawn in, David Wright and shortstop Wilmer Flores were close together. There was a bit of miscommunication on the play. Flores could have fielded it with better position, but Wright got it and did a crow-hop throw to first base. Hosmer took advantage, motoring home. First baseman Lucas Duda made a wide throw to catcher Travis d'Arnaud, and so Hosmer scored the tying run. With a better throw, he makes the final out of Game 5.

Though the blown save in Game 5 wasn’t really his fault, Familia got a blown save. Per ESPN Stats & Info, Familia is the first reliever with three blown saves in one post-season since Yankees legend Mariano Rivera in 2004.

The Mets went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, so Game 5 is headed to extras. In order to stay alive, the Mets need to pull this one out.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”