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NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mets manager Terry Collins let his emotions get the best of him on Sunday, and the team gave up another lead late as they lost the World Series to the Kansas City Royals.
"I let my heart get in the way of my gut. I love my players," Collins said of his decision to send starting pitcher Matt Harvey back out to the mound for the ninth inning of Game Five of the Fall Classic with a 2-0 lead.
"It didn't work. It was my fault," he said after the Royals eventually won 7-2 in 12 innings to win the best-of-seven 4-1.
Harvey had been dominant over the first eight innings, striking out nine and shutting down a Royals offense that had scored 20 runs over the first four games of the series.
But he walked Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who then stole a base and scored on a ringing double from Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
"I wanted the ball. Obviously he wanted to go to Familia there," Harvey said. "But the way the game was going and the way I felt, I felt like I wanted to control the game and go back out there for the ninth."
The Citi Field crowd seemed to agree, chanting "Harvey! Harvey!" in hopes he would finish what he had started.
After Mets closer Jeurys Familia took over for him, the Royals tied the game when Mets first baseman Lucas Duda was unable to throw Hosmer out at home and the game went to extra innings.
The Royals scored five runs in the 12th to win it.
Collins stuck with another of his players earlier in the game, letting outfielder Yoenis Cespedes finish his at-bat after fouling a ball off his knee with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning.
Cespedes went to the ground immediately and stayed down for several minutes.
"He said he was OK, thought he could hit," Collins said of that decision.
Cespedes popped out and limped off the field and the Mets would only manage to score one run in the inning. The Cuban did not return to the game.
It was a fitting end for a series in which the Royals capitalized on frequent misplays by the Mets.
"They got the big hits when they needed it. They definitely out-hit us. Their bullpen was as good as advertised and their starters were excellent," said Mets captain David Wright. "And that's the reason they are celebrating."
Editing by Larry Fine