The Yankee bats finally woke up, pounding the Royals for 15 runs tonight to get back into the win column. Their 21 hits marked the most by a Yankees team in a nine inning game since they scattered 23 against Seattle on August 25, 1984.
Every starter collected a hit, with three different guys – Tino Martinez, Gerald Williams and Bernie Williams – collecting three RBIs. The Yankees set the tone early, jumping out to a five run lead after the first inning.
The Yankees were able to get into the soft underbelly of the KC pen by knocking out starter Chris Haney after one and one thirds of an inning. For Joe Torre, it was a relief his team was able to knock around a left-handed pitcher, something they’ve struggled with this season. “For one night, it stops the questions about why can’t you beat a left-hander,” Torre said. (via NY Times)
Mariano Duncan, who added four hits of his own, was pleased with how the team played after getting shutdown by a rookie pitcher last night. “It was an exciting game,” Duncan said. “We got to see everybody get to the plate and get hits. We knew we were going to go up there and get hits.” (via NY Times)
By the end of the fifth, New York was up 15-0, allowing Jimmy Key to cruise to his eighth win on the season as he tossed seven innings of shutout ball. Key underwent rotator cuff surgery last summer, but appears to be fully healthy now. “I have no more questions about Jimmy Key,” Torre said. “He goes out there, takes his turn and has had no physical problems. It’s nice.” (via NY Times)
The 50th annual Old-Timers’ Day celebration will take place tomorrow afternoon. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 12 pm for the festivities. Afterwards, Kenny Rogers will take the ball against Tim Belcher.
Although Pat Kelly returned from the DL tonight and went 1-3 with an RBI, Joe Torre insists that Duncan will remain the primary second baseman. Kelly left in the fifth inning after experiencing a cramp in his leg.
Since the Orioles lost tonight, the Yankees division lead is now at 11 games. This is the biggest lead for New York this late in the season since 1958.
2B:Girardi (16, off Haney);Duncan (17, off Magnante).
HR:B.Williams (20, off Valera, 4th inn, 1 on, 1 out to Deep LF).
RBI:Martinez 3 (76);G.Williams 3 (29);
B.Williams 3 (68);Jeter 2 (44);Duncan 2 (32);
Kelly (1); J Girardi (29).
Pitching IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Key W (8-7) 7 3 0 0 1 6 4.56
Nelson 1 0 0 0 0 0 4.47
Polley 1 3 1 1 0 0 5.68