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Royals’ Hosmer avoids Bill Buckner fate vs. Mets in Game 1

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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 3:13 AM

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Eric Hosmer (l.) owes Royals teammate Alex Gordon a big hug after his 9th inning home run bails out the first baseman for an error in the 8th inning that puts the Mets ahead.

KANSAS CITY – For an inning and a half, Eric Hosmer was lined up to be his generation’s Bill Buckner.

By the time the five-hour, nine-minute marathon was finished, Hosmer was being mobbed by his teammates after driving in the game-winning run on a 14th inning sacrifice fly.

“It was just pure joy that the game’s over,” Hosmer said. “And that my teammates gave me an opportunity to redeem myself.”

“It was a great night,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “Two things you don’t want in Game 1 of the World Series: One is to go 14 innings and the other is to lose. To grind through that game and to win it in the 14th inning was big.”

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Hosmer’s two-out fielding error on Wilmer Flores’ ground ball in the top of the eighth inning allowed Juan Lagares to score from second base, snapping a 3-3 tie.

“It’s one of those plays where you need to decide if you’re going in to get it, or you’re going to sit back and get the hop,” Hosmer said. “It was a little in between, I tried to go in and charge it and it just hit off the side of my glove. No excuses about it. It should have been caught. Definitely the play should have been made.”

Alex Gordon bailed his teammate out with a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth against Mets closer Jeurys Familia, tying the game and sending it to extra innings.

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Jeurys Familia watches as Gordon’s ball clears the center field fence, tying the game 4-4 in the 9th.

“I was the happiest person in the stadium at that point,” Hosmer said. “That’s why he’s the leader, that’s why he’s the captain of this team. I had no words. All I could tell him was, ‘I just want to hug you right now.’ That’s why he’s my hero, that’s why he’s a lot of people’s hero in Kansas City.”

The game remained tied 4-4 into the 14th inning, but the Royals rallied against Bartolo Colon after David Wright made an error on Alcides Escobar’s leadoff grounder and Ben Zobrist singled. The Mets intentionally walked Lorenzo Cain to load the bases with nobody out, bringing Hosmer to the plate with a chance at redemption.

“It’s time for you to do your part,” Hosmer said. “Everyone else on the team has been stepping up. Everyone else has been doing what they can to win this ballgame. It came down to me right there. I was the reason why that run came in in the first place, for them to go ahead. So it’s time to do your part.”

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Hosmer lifted a fly ball to right field, knowing it was deep enough to score Escobar for the win.

“Off the bat, yeah, I definitely did,” Hosmer said. “Once you see the outfielder take a step back, you know his momentum’s not coming in. And with Escobar on third, I knew he had good speed.

“I’m just thankful for Gordo, thankful for all these guys giving me a chance to redeem myself.”

Tags:
eric hosmer ,
kansas city royals ,
mets playoffs ,
world series
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BY Bill Price

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