Cueto's 2-hitter sends Royals over Mets for 2-0 Series lead

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Johnny Cueto smothered the New York Mets with another big October outing. And the pesky Kansas City Royals kept fouling off Jacob deGrom's best pitches, wearing him down with persistence and prowess.

Cueto never faltered. And as deGrom wore down, the Royals pounced.

Eric Hosmer hit a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs in a four-run fifth inning that included 14 foul balls, and the Royals rallied to beat the Mets 7-1 Wednesday night and take a 2-0 World Series lead.

Nineteen hours after Hosmer's sacrifice fly won a 14-inning thriller, Cueto pitched a two-hitter, varying his delivery with occasional quick pitches and keeping the Mets off balance. An excited crowd stood on its feet for long stretches on the rainy night. Some fans wore wigs resembling Cueto's long, dark dreadlocks - including the Royals' mascot, Slugerrr.

FLASHBACK: Familia falters in 9th, Royals outlast Mets in 14-inning marathon

With Kansas City two wins from its their first title since 1985, the teams take Thursday off. New York's Citi Field hosts its first Series game Friday, when rookie Noah Syndergaard starts for the Mets and Yordano Ventura for the Royals.

Forty-one of the 51 teams to take 2-0 leads in best-of-seven World Series have gone on to win the title, including nine straight since Atlanta stumbled against the New York Yankees in 1996.

Relive all the action of Game 2 in photos:

36 PHOTOS
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Cueto's 2-hitter sends Royals over Mets for 2-0 Series lead
A fan holds up a cutout of Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer before Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Workers arrive at Kauffman Stadium before Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 28: Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas #8 of the Kansas City Royals get pumped in the dugout prior to Game 2 of the 2015 World Series against the New York Mets at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Kansas City Royals fan Benny Hadorn watches batting practice before Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Kansas City Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto throws during the first inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom throws during the first inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom pitches during the first inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 28: Kansas City Royals fans cheer as Alcides Escobar #2 of the Kansas City Royals is up at bat in the fifth inning against the New York Mets in Game Two of the 2015 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Kansas City Royals' Mike Moustakas can't handle a ball hit by New York Mets' Lucas Duda during the second inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
A Kansas City Royals fan makes his way to his seat during the third inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
New York Mets' Yoenis Cespedes is safe at first as Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer (35) is off the bag during the fourth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is credited with an error in the fourth inning, allowing the Kansas City Royals' Ben Zobrist to reach first during Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)
New York Mets' Daniel Murphy reacts as he scores from second on a hit by Lucas Duda during the fourth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New York Mets' Juan Lagares can't catch a ball hit by Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer during the fourth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Fans cheer during the fourth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Kansas City Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto walks back to the dugout after giving up a run during the fourth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon (4) scores past New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud during the fifth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. Gordon scored from second on a hit by Alcides Escobar. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon is congratulated in the dugout after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Jack Reabey waits for the start of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores dives for a Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer two-RBI single during the fifth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud waits for the throw as Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar (2) slides in to score on an RBI single Kansas City Royals' Alex Rios during the fifth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball against the New York Mets World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer hits a two-RBI single against the New York Mets during the fifth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar, left, scores past New York Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud on a single by Eric Hosmer during the fifth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) celebrates with Alcides Escobar after a ground ended the seventh inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
A Kansas City Royals fan holds up an antler during the fifth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
New York Mets' Juan Lagares can't catch triple hit by Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez goes back to the dug out after New York Mets' Daniel Murphy struck out looking during the sixth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto (47) and Alcides Escobar (2) celebrate the end of the top of the eighth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares can't catch an RBI double by Kansas City Royals' Alex Gordon during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
New York Mets infielders wait for relief pitcher Addison Reed to warm up during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the Kansas City Royals Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, right, congratulates starting pitcher Johnny Cueto at the end of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals defeated the Mets 7-1 to take at two game lead in the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals pitcher Johnny Cueto celebrates after Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals won 7-1 to take a 2-0 lead in the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, right, hugs starting pitcher Johnny Cueto at the end of Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals defeated the Mets 7-1 to take at two game lead in the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, right, pours a container of water over starting pitcher Johnny Cueto Game 2 of the Major League Baseball World Series against the New York Mets Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Kansas City, Mo. The Royals defeated the Mets 7-1 to take at two game lead in the series. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 28: Salvador Perez #13 of the Kansas City Royals douses Johnny Cueto #47 of the Kansas City Royals after defeating the New York Mets 7-1 in Game Two of the 2015 World Series at Kauffman Stadium on October 28, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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Kansas City had the best contact hitters in the major leagues this season, missing on just 19.7 percent of its swings, according to STATS. The Dodgers and Cubs swung and missed 58 times in his first three postseason outings, but he got just three swings and misses against the Royals - his career low. Of his 94 pitches, 23 were fouled off by the Royals.

SEE MORE: Ranking the 20 most memorable moments in World Series history

Cueto has struggled on the road, where opposing fans taunt him by repeating his name in a sing-song voice. But since the Royals acquired the free-agent-to-be from Cincinnati in July, he's been Johnny on the spot at Kauffman Stadium. He pitched two-hit ball over eight innings to win Game 5 of the Division Series against Houston, and Kansas City lined up its Series rotation to have Cueto starting Games 2 and 6 at home.

Cueto struck out four and walked three. Both hits off him were soft singles by Lucas Duda, an infield hit to third that took advantage of the shift in the second inning and an opposite-field RBI single to left in the fourth. Cueto let loose some emotion at the end of the eighth inning, when Alcides Escobar made a nifty play to retire Juan Lagares for the final out. As Escobar sprinted past him, Cueto exchanged a flamboyant high five with the shortstop.

After Yoenis Cespedes flied to center for the final out, Cueto pointed to the sky and was congratulated by catcher Salvador Perez. Cueto pitched the first Series complete game by an AL pitcher since Minnesota's Jack Morris won Game 7 against Atlanta in 1991.

DeGrom, 3-0 in the postseason coming in, allowed four runs, six hits and three walks over five innings in a hairy matchup of pitchers with contrasting long locks. Pitching with seven days' rest, deGrom held Kansas City to one hit through four innings but got in trouble in the fifth, when he walked Alex Gordon on a 3-2 slider leading off.

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Alex Rios followed with a single and Escobar fouled off a pair of bunt attempts before driving and 0-2 slider up the middle for a tying single.

Ben Zobrist's grounder advanced the runners, and Lorenzo Cain fouled off four pitches before a flyout to short center. Hosmer singled off the mound into center field for a 3-1 lead, and Kendrys Morales' singled in another run.

Gordon added an RBI double in the eighth off Jon Niese, a ball off the glove of shortstop Wilmer Flores. Paulo Orlando, the first Brazil-born player to appear in a Series, followed with a sacrifice fly against Addison Reed, and Escobar tripled in a run.

RELATED: See the most memorable World Series moments in history

21 PHOTOS
Most memorable World Series moments in history
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Cueto's 2-hitter sends Royals over Mets for 2-0 Series lead

20. Freese powers monumental St. Louis rally (2011)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

19. J.T. Snow rescues Dusty Baker's son from oncoming baseball players (2002)

(AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

18. Earthquake rattles 1989 World Series

(Photo by Otto Greule Jr /Getty Images)

17. Roger Clemens flings a broken bat at Mike Piazza (2000)

(Photo by Howard Earl Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

16. "And we'll see you tomorrow night!" (1991)

 (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

15. Dekinger's blown call gives KC a win to set up a title (1985)

(Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images)

14. Jack Morris hurls 10 shutout innings (1991)

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

13. Edgar Renteria walks off in Game 7 (1997)

(AP Photo/Hans Deryk)

12. Luis Gonzalez walks off against Mariano Rivera for a championship (2001)

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

11. Carlton Fisk waves it fair (1975)

(AP Photo/Harry Cabluck, File)

10. Mr. October is born (1977)

(AP Photos/Ray Stubblebine)

9. The Babe "calls his shot" (1932)

(Photo by B. Bennett/Getty Images)

8. Boston breaks the curse (2004)

(AP Photo/Al Behrman)

7. Larsen throws perfection (1956)

(Photo by Stanley Weston/Getty Images)

6. Willie Mays' trademark grab (1954)

(Photo by Frank Hurley/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

5. Bill Mazeroski hits only Game 7 walkoff homer ever (1960)

(Photo by MLB Photos via Getty Images)

4. President Bush tosses a strike for America (2001)

(Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

3. It gets through Buckner (1986)

(Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

2. Touch 'em all, Joe (1993)

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

1. "I don't believe what I just saw!" (1988)

 (AP Photo/John Swart, File)

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