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Road woes continue: Mets beat Royals, 2-1

The pitching was strong, but the offense vanished at Citi Field.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Whit Merrifield led off the game and whacked a liner back up the middle. The ball dinged into Mets starter Bartolo Colon's right hand, smashing his thumb and forcing him to leave the game after just four pitches. It seemed like the ingredients were in place for the Royals offense to continue their scoring surge, but they fell behind early, and unlike we saw so many times in the World Series, a comeback was not in the cards.

The Mets beat the Royals, 2-1, on Tuesday night to open a two-game interleague series. The loss dipped Kansas City to 13-24 on the road.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Mets struck first when Asdrubal Cabrera hit his seventh home run of the season off of Ian Kennedy. In the fourth, New York doubled its lead when Yoenis Cespedes went deep. The two solo home runs would be all the Mets would need thanks to a stout pitching performance from Hansel Robles, who was thrust into the game after the unexpected injury to Colon.

Kansas City put together a rally in the top of the fifth inning. Paulo Orlando led off with a single. Cheslor Cuthbert walked to put two on with none out. Then, Brett Eibner ripped an RBI single into left field, plating Orlando and bringing the Royals within 2-1.

With the ninth spot in the batting order due up, Ned Yost lifted Kennedy and put the bat in the hands of his best bench player in Kendrys Morales. The move nearly paid off, as Morales lifted a fly ball to the deepest part of Citi Field, but the ball died just before getting over the right-field wall. Cuthbert advanced to third and Merrifield had a chance to tie the game, but he struck out against Erik Goeddell, and the Royals wouldn't score again.

Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed, and Jeurys Familia, who earned his 23rd save of the season, each worked a shutout frame to close out Kansas City. It was Robies who got the win, improving him to 1-3 on the year. He gave up five hits and one run while striking out six over his 3.2 innings of work.

For the Royals, Kennedy pitched just four innings because of Yost's pinch-hit decision. He gave up four hits and two runs while striking out just two Mets. Dillon Gee worked through the fifth and sixth innings, Luke Hochevar the seventh, and Kelvin Herrera the eighth. As a staff, Royals pitchers allowed just six hits all evening.

It was a particularly bad night at the plate for Merrifield (0-for-4 and a big strikeout in the fifth inning) and Eric Hosmer (0-for-4 with three strikeouts).

Tomorrow, the 38-32 Royals will look to escape New York with a split when they take on staff ace Noah Syndergaard. Kansas City will counter with its best starter in Danny Duffy. First pitch is at 12:10 CDT Kansas City time.