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Curtis Granderson contributes go-ahead home run, fine running catch in gap

New York Mets rightfielder Curtis Granderson is high-fived

New York Mets rightfielder Curtis Granderson is high-fived by David Wright and Noah Syndergaard during Game 3 of the World Series against the Kansas City Royals at Citi Field on Friday, Oct. 30, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

No one wanted this more than Curtis Granderson.

Granderson knows the disappointment and pain of getting all the way to the World Series, only to have everything suddenly go wrong.

That's what happened to him in his rookie season when his Detroit Tigers lost to St. Louis in five games in 2006. Granderson had two hits in 21 at-bats in that series.

So Friday night, with the Mets down 2-0 in the Fall Classic, Granderson produced like a guy who knows how painful it is not to come up big. He went 2-for-5 with a two-run home run in the third inning that gave the Mets the lead for good in a 9-3 win over the Royals at Citi Field.

"They were huge," manager Terry Collins said when asked about Granderson's two hits. "He's had a phenomenal year for us. He's picked us up when we needed to be picked up."

In a postseason in which some of the biggest Mets hitters have run hot and cold, Granderson has been the one consistent producer. He's reached base safely in all 12 postseason games and reached base multiple times in seven of the 12.

His home run Friday night was his second in the World Series -- he also homered in Game 1 -- making him only the sixth Met to collect multiple home runs in a World Series. He joins Donn Clendenon (three in 1969), Wayne Garrett (two in 1973), Gary Carter (two in 1986), Lenny Dykstra (two in 1986) and Mike Piazza (two in 2000).

"I was trying to get the ball up in a zone that I could handle," Granderson said of Friday night's home run off Yordano Ventura. "He did an amazing job of locating the ball down through the course of the game. He throws hard, but I had to get something in the zone that you can do something with. He supplied all the power and it ended up getting out of the ballpark."

In addition to the two-run homer, Granderson beat out an infield single in the first inning, putting an 0-and-2 pitch in play. He then scored on David Wright's two-run homer.

Granderson also made a spectacular catch on a long fly ball to right-center by Ben Zobrist to end the fifth inning.

"With Zobrist swinging the ball as well as he has this series, I have to play deep. I've got to respect the things he's done," Granderson said. "He put a good swing on the ball. I looked at Cespedes and he wasn't going to get there, so I just kept going. And we ended up being close and I was able to reel it in to end the inning for us, which was a good thing."

He said that even though the Mets managed to get a crucial win and show the Royals they intend to make a series out of it, it is no time for them to exhale.

Said Granderson, "I think every game is a must-win situation."


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