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5 reasons why Royals won World Series

NEW YORK — The Kansas City Royals claimed their second World Series title and first since 1985 with a 7-2 victory over the New York Mets in Game 5 on Sunday.

The Royals tied the game with two runs in the ninth inning, then broke the game open with five runs in the 12th.

Kansas City mastered the art of the comeback. Eight of the Royals’ 11 victories were of the comeback variety and they scored 51 runs in the seventh inning or beyond. Since Kansas City was able to come back by capitalizing on mistakes and creating their own opportunities and is a championship team a year after stranding the tying run on third in Game 7 at home against the San Francisco Giants.

Here are five reasons why the Royals won the World Series:

1. Games are never over: The cliche is the game is not over until the 27th out, and perhaps no team defines it like Kansas City. The Royals were five outs away from losing Game 4 and three outs away from dropping Game 5 and seeing the series go back to Kansas City. Instead, they picked up their latest set of late-inning comeback wins and finished the postseason with eight comeback victories and an astounding 51 runs in the seventh inning or later while going 6-0 in extra innings over the last two postseasons.

2. The snowball effect: With most teams, rallies produce one or two runs. Not the Royals. Three innings after tying Game 5, Kansas City scored five times in the 12th, sending nine men to the plate and taking a 7-2 lead on a three-run double by center fielder Lorenzo Cain. It was similar to Game 4, when the Royals scored three times in the eighth inning after taking advantage of an error by Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy that allowed in the tying run.

3. Maybe it was meant to be: After nearly winning Game 7 at home last year against the San Francisco Giants, the Royals seemed determine not to lost the World Series in heartbreaking fashion again. The Royals got off to a great start and cruised to the AL Central title before this magical postseason run, which saw pinch hitter Christian Colon get the series-clinching hit in the 12th inning. It seemed unbelievable since Colon had not appeared in the postseason until then, but on the Royals’ radio broadcast, announcers Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre said: “Unbelievable or maybe believable.”

4. They have Hosmer, Cain and Perez: Though there are many who contributed to this championship, perhaps nobody was more impactful than first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who sparked the ninth inning comeback, and catcher Salvador Perez, whose hit started the five-run 12th. Cain opened the ninth with a walk off Matt Harvey, stole second and scored when Hosmer doubled to left. Hosmer then scored the tying run when he took off for home plate as third baseman David Wright threw to first base on a groundout by Perez. Three innings later, Cain extended the lead from 4-2 to 7-2, effectively ensuring the Royals would get the championship. Cain’s hit came after Perez led off the 12th with a bloop single to right field. Besides guiding the pitching staff, Perez went 8-for-22 (.364) in the series and became the first catcher to win World Series MVP honors since Pat Borders in 1992 for the Toronto Blue Jays.

5. They also have pitching: The Mets had the spotlight in the ace department with youngsters Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. It turned out the Royals’ pitching was pretty good, too. The Royals finished the World Series with a 2.94 ERA, a figure inflated by Yordano Ventura’s short start in Game 3. Edinson Volquez started Games 1 and 5 with a heavy heart following the death of his father in the Dominican Republic. He allowed a total of four earned runs in 12 innings. On Sunday, he gave the Royals the opportunity to rally by only allowing one run after loading the bases in the sixth with nobody out. Johnny Cueto was even better after struggling in the AL Championship Series. He pitched a dominant two-hitter in a 7-1 win in Game 2. The Royals also got a herculean effort from Kelvin Herrera, who pitched three innings for the first time in his career in Game 5 before Wade Davis finished it off, ending a season when he was the best reliever in the game with a strikeout of Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores.