Royals hold off Mets 4-3 in opening rematch of World Series

ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 04, 2016 02:38 PM
Royals hold off Mets 4-3 in opening rematch of World Series
Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante, left, tags out New York Mets' Michael Conforto (30) during the fourth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, April 3, 2016. Conforto was caught stealing on the play. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
KANSAS CITY, Missouri (AP) — The reigning champion Kansas City Royals picked up where they left off in November, beating Matt Harvey and the New York Mets 4-3 on Sunday in the first opening-day rematch of a World Series in Major League Baseball history.

With runners at the corners in the ninth inning, All-Star closer Wade Davis struck out David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes to preserve the win.

Edinson Volquez (1-0), who started the decisive Game 5 at Citi Field in New York last fall, allowed two hits and three walks over six scoreless innings, his night curtailed by an inflated pitch count rather than anything the Mets did.

It wasn't until Joakim Soria came on in the eighth that New York rallied, scoring three times on Lucas Duda's two-run single and Neil Walker's RBI groundout.

Harvey (0-1) allowed four runs — three earned — on eight hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings for the Mets.

The Mets spent nearly an hour before the first pitch reliving last year's World Series defeat through a steady stream of highlights on the stadium video screen, then had to watch the raising of the championship banner in left field at Kauffman Stadium.

"It was just strange, the pregame ceremony. I think I would have enjoyed it more if we played another team," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "For them to relive that, it's a little awkward."

The new MLB season got off to a frigid start earlier in the day in Pittsburgh, where Francisco Liriano tied a Pirates opening day record by striking out 10 and singled home a run in a 4-1 win over St. Louis.

It was 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) when Liriano threw the first pitch of the year. He allowed just three hits and walked five in six shutout innings.

His RBI hit in the second came off Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.

David Freese, the 2011 World Series Most Valuable Player for the Cardinals, had two hits against his former club in his debut with Pittsburgh.

In much warmer St. Petersburg, Florida, Marcus Stroman outpitched Chris Archer in his first opening day start, helping Toronto begin the defense of its first American League East title in 22 years by beating Tampa Bay 5-3.

Stroman allowed three runs and six hits over eight-plus innings. Roberto Osuna got three outs for a save.

Archer struck out a Rays opening-day record 12 in five innings.

Troy Tulowitzki hit the first home run of the 2016 MLB season, a two-run shot for Toronto. Edwin Encarnacion also had two hits and drove in two runs for the Blue Jays.

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