Eric Hosmer knew pretty much on contact that he was going to make a run for it.
"You realize with the guy on the mound there, how nasty he is, you have to take chances sometimes," the Royals first baseman said after his team's 7-2, 12-inning victory in Game 5 Sunday night clinched the World Series.
After Hosmer doubled off Matt Harvey with none out in the ninth inning to drive in Lorenzo Cain and cut the Royals' deficit to 2-1, he advanced to third on Mike Moustakas' grounder to first against Jeurys Familia. Then he watched Salvador Perez chop a grounder to third.
David Wright looked at Hosmer, who continued to straggle off the bag, then threw to Lucas Duda at first. As he did, Hosmer sprinted for home and scored the tying run when Duda's wild throw went wide of catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
"That's our motto; we want to be aggressive as a team," Hosmer said. "I just shuffled along with David, and as soon as he made his throw, I decided to go and see what happened, and it ended up working out for us."
Cain, who led off the inning with a walk against Harvey, was not surprised to see Hosmer take off.
"That's the style of baseball we play, aggressive baseball," he said. "I wouldn't expect anything less. He did a great job, getting a good read and a good jump. We made the first baseman make a play, and he didn't."
Even though Harvey had shown no signs that a rally was imminent, the Royals -- who had notched comeback victories seven previous times in this postseason run -- had little doubt something would happen in the ninth.
"You could feel it coming," said pitching coach Dave Eiland, who won a title with the Yankees in 2009 as their pitching coach. "I don't mean to sound cocky or arrogant, but you could feel it coming. We got the one guy on, we knew we were going to score at least one, if not two."
Said Hosmer: "The way this group's fought back the entire postseason and the way we've found ways to get it done, you just knew we weren't going to go out quietly."
Cain said the Royals wanted Harvey back on the mound for the ninth.
"He was on, he had his stuff, but eventually we got to him," Cain said. "That's why you play nine innings. You have to get it done through all nine and we got it done at the right moment, and that's why we're champions."
Standing a short distance away in the champagne- and beer-drenched visitors' clubhouse, David Glass, with the club since 1993 and its sole owner since 2000, could only shake his head.
"This bunch of guys never gave up," he said. "They refused to believe that they would lose. They made it happen."