The unpredictable Johnny Cueto delivered in the biggest game of his career, and the predictable Kansas City offense provided him more than enough runs to win. It was another effort befitting of the Royals' relentless brand of baseball.
Cueto silenced his critics over a complete-game two-hitter, Eric Hosmer drove in a pair during a four-run fifth, and the Royals seized a commanding 2-0 lead in the World Series with a 7-1 victory over the New York Mets on Wednesday.
Jacob deGrom was chased after five and the Mets unravelled in the eighth, when a pair of defensive miscues allowed the Royals to pad their comfortable lead by three more runs. The series now shifts to Queens, where New York will begin the daunting task of coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-seven series.
Top Performer: Cueto was the star of Game 2, becoming the first pitcher since Greg Maddux in 1995 to throw a complete-game two-hitter in the World Series, while offensively it was once again Hosmer who helped pace Kansas City's relentless offense. Hosmer, who collected a pair of hits, delivered a tiebreaking two-run single in the fifth, and now has 27 RBIs in his first 28 postseason games. The only player who drove in more over that span is Lou Gehrig.
Starting Pitchers: Cueto pitched to some hard contact and struck out just four, but his unorthodox delivery helped keep every Mets hitter off balance except for slugger Lucas Duda, who went 2-for-3 while his teammates were hitless in 25 at-bats. Cueto retired 15 straight batters during one stretch, and limited the hot-hitting Mets to no extra-base hits by mixing speeds and locating on the edges of the plate. He's the first AL pitcher to throw a complete game in the World Series since Jack Morris in 1991.
Ned Yost's deep lineup dismantled deGrom with boxer-like precision, jabbing the long-haired flamethrower for four runs during a pivotal fifth by punching singles to opposite fields and defending against two-strike counts. The right-hander generated just three swings and misses after inducing at least 14 in each of his three previous postseason starts.
Key Moment: Hosmer's big hit in the fifth followed a tireless sequence from Royals hitters, which included five singles and three straight hits with two outs. The key moment, however, came with none out and runners on first and second. After failing to successfully land a pair of sacrifice bunts, Alcides Escobar delivered an RBI single to tie the game 1-1 and set the stage for Hosmer and Mike Moustakas' run-scoring hit later that inning.
(Videos courtesy: MLB.com)
Up Next: Fresh off their seventh-straight win at home, the Royals will now take their act to the Big Apple, where they'll look to secure the second championship in franchise history. Yordano Ventura gets the ball for Kansas City opposite Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard. First pitch from Citi Field is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. ET on Friday.