NEW YORK -- Yordano Ventura gave up early two-run homers to David Wright and Curtis Granderson, and the Kansas City Royals could never recover on the way to a 9-3 loss to the New York Mets in Game 3 of the World Series at Citi Field.
Ventura provided a 53-pitch glimpse of why he can be so exasperating. He relinquished a 1-0 first-inning lead on Wright’s homer, and surrendered a 3-2 advantage on Granderson’s shot down the right-field line in the third.
The Mets went 4-for-4 against Ventura when he was pitching out of the stretch, and Ventura’s velocity also showed a noticeable decline after he came out blazing with four consecutive fastballs in the 96-98 mph range to Granderson in the Mets' first at-bat of the game.
Thumbs up: Alex Rios, who gave the Royals four home runs and a .640 OPS in exchange for an $11 million regular-season investment, delivered yet another big postseason hit when he singled in the second inning to tie the game 2-2.
The Royals got their usual boost from the top of the lineup. No. 2 hitter Ben Zobrist doubled off Noah Syndergaard in the first inning and came around to score on a fielder’s choice, and Alcides Escobar extended his postseason hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the second.
Thumbs down: Franklin Morales showed why he’s the 11th man on an 11-man pitching staff, turning a 5-3 deficit into a Mets runaway win in the sixth. With one out, Morales allowed a single to Juan Lagares, hit Wilmer Flores with a pitch, surrendered an RBI single to Juan Uribe, then turned a potential double-play comebacker into a bases-loaded situation with an awkwardly comical moment of indecision.
When Kelvin Herrera came on and served up a two-run single to Wright, the game was sapped of any semblance of drama.
Morales, who pitched previously in the World Series with the Colorado Rockies in 2007, now has a 29.73 ERA in three Fall Classic relief appearances (3⅓ innings, 11 earned runs).
What’s next: Chris Young, who picked up the victory in the series opener with three innings of scoreless relief, will try to get the Royals back on track in Game 4, set for Saturday at 8:07 p.m. ET. Young has shown an increase in velocity in October and has 15 strikeouts in 11⅔ innings against the Astros, Blue Jays and Mets this postseason.