Johnny Cueto knew the Kansas City Royals had wagered much of their future on him, trading away a bevy of prospects in late July so he could pitch in moments like this.
The decisive game of a playoff series, their season on the line.
He responded with a masterpiece on his biggest stage yet, eight dominant innings Wednesday night that allowed the resilient Royals to rally once more for a 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros that sent them back to the American League Championship Series.
"I woke up today on the right foot," Cueto said. "As soon as I woke up, I felt something magic, that this was Game 5 and I had to show up for everybody, for this team and...