Royals drop second straight to Mets in 4-3 loss
NEW YORK -- The best thing about Kansas City's road trip was it only lasted two games. Even a visit to the site of last year's championship triumph couldn't help the Royals win away from home.
Joakim Soria gave up a tiebreaking homer in the sixth inning to rookie Matt Reynolds, and the New York Mets beat Kansas City 4-3 on Wednesday for a two-game sweep in their World Series rematch.
Reynolds sent an opposite-field drive to right off Soria (3-3) for his first major league home run.
Watch the Royals Live postgame show after every Kansas City Royals game on FOX Sports Kansas City.
"He put it in the air, and the wind took care of the rest," Soria said.
After falling to 13-25 on the road, the Royals headed back home -- where they boast the best mark in the majors at 25-8. Houston arrives Friday night for a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.
Cheslor Cuthbert homered for the Royals, who had won eight of nine overall when they showed up at Citi Field, where they clinched their 2015 title with a late rally in Game 5 of the World Series.
But after a string of comebacks floored the Mets last fall, this time New York's bullpen held Kansas City at bay in two more tight games between the teams. Including a two-game split at Kauffman Stadium to begin the season, the Mets took three of four meetings between the defending league champions this year.
New York held on Wednesday even though Noah Syndergaard left his start after six innings with a sore elbow and slugger Yoenis Cespedes came out because of an aching wrist. Both star players were sent to the doctor as the banged-up Mets packed for a seven-game trip.
Asdrubal Cabrera homered for the second straight day and scored with an acrobatic slide to help Syndergaard (8-2) win his sixth consecutive decision.
Curtis Granderson walked with two outs in the fifth and Cabrera hit a two-run shot off a 97 mph, 1-2 fastball from frustrated starter Danny Duffy.
"I made one bad pitch that really kind of screwed up the whole performance," Duffy said. "I wasn't happy."
The left-hander allowed three runs and four hits while throwing 103 pitches in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked four.
"You're not going to be perfect every time you step out there. But what you do is you compete on those days when you don't have your good command. He sure did that," manager Ned Yost said.
Whit Merrifield and Paulo Orlando each had an RBI single for the Royals.
The home run by Reynolds put New York ahead 4-3 and made a winner of Syndergaard, who won 2-0 at Kansas City in April. Of course, he also earned New York's lone World Series victory last October and irritated the Royals by firing his first pitch above Alcides Escobar's head.
The teams played this one without incident.
Syndergaard squandered a pair of one-run leads, giving up three runs and a season-high eight hits. He struck out four and walked none.
The big right-hander pitched on six days' rest, pushed back a day after throwing 115 pitches -- one short of his most in the majors -- over a career-high 8 1/3 innings during his previous outing.
"He's a special pitcher out there. I mean, his fastball is at 97-99 (mph), he's got great off-speed stuff and he mixes it up. You can't really sit on anything," Yost said. "He throws as much off-speed stuff as fastballs, and he throws them all for strikes. I thought we did a real good job against him."
Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed set up Jeurys Familia for his major league-leading 24th save.
Cespedes had two hits and a walk, including a double off the center-field wall, but was removed in the sixth due to discomfort in his left wrist.
STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND
New York sat slumping LF Michael Conforto against the left-hander, so Reynolds started in left field and made all his plays. The infielder said the last time he played the outfield was one summer ball game in the Cape Cod League during college.
All-Star LF Alex Gordon (broken right wrist) played his fourth rehab game at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He is 5 for 15 with a home run and a double and could rejoin the Royals this weekend.
After a day off Thursday, their second in four days, the Royals play another opponent they dispatched during the 2015 postseason. RHP Edinson Volquez (7-6, 4.12 ERA) faces AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel (3-9, 5.32) and the Astros on Friday night.