KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The New York Yankees won yet another series taking two of three contests from the Kansas City Royals. Ideally, you’d like to pound the Royals and sweep but given some of the names they trotted out there in the lineup and on the bump, you take that series and move on to the cornfields.
Well, that was certainly something else. Questionable umpiring calls, some spotty baserunning, and four blown saves (thank you automatic runner) kept this contest dragging on for nearly five hours. Thankfully it ended with an 8-6 Yankee victory in 11 innings.
In the seventh inning, New York struck first against Carlos Hernandez. After Aaron Judge was ruled out at the plate on a dubious call following a DJ LeMahieu fielder’s choice, the Yankees got on the board. Luke Voit met the ball for once and plated Gallo with a single to left.
Jameson Taillon twirled another representative outing into the seventh but was lifted following Emmanuel Rivera single. With Jonathan Loaisiga on, an errant pickoff attempt and a suspect balk call moved pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson to third and got manager Aaron Boone run from the game. A Ryan O’Hearn sac-fly to right knotted the contest at one.
Facing Jake Brentz in the eighth inning, Tyler Wade reached on catcher’s interference, stole second base, and scored after Judge singled off Scott Barlow to regain the lead. The Yankees could’ve had more if Gardner hadn’t been thrown out on the hit, attempting to advance to third with two outs.
In the home half, after Loaisiga allowed a pair to reach, Chad Green yielded an RBI single to right by Andrew Benintendi for the Royals equalizer.
New York countered in the ninth inning, as Voit took Richard Lovelady yard to right for a 3-2 edge.
However, Kansas City tied the game in the bottom of the frame against Zack Britton. Whit Merrifield walked, stole second, and scored on a Nicky Lopez base knock to left.
During the tenth inning, a Kyle Higashioka sac-fly to center and a Gardner single to right, staked the Yankees to a 5-3 advantage.
However, the Royals countered against Clay Holmes, who picked the wrong time to have his worst outing in what’s otherwise been a great introductory couple of weeks with the club. A Dyson sac-fly to left and a Hanser Alberto single to center made it a tie game once again.
The Yankees all but put it out of reach in the eleventh inning against Greg Holland. A LeMahieu RBI double to right made it 6-5. A sharp single and deflection off the glove of Lopez enabled two more runs to score for an 8-5 victory.
In the home half, Wandy Peralta would let up a run on an Edward Olivares RBI single to center but Peralta would eventually nail it down for an 8-6 win.
It was a pretty ugly 8-4 loss for the Yankees. Despite leading 4-3 in the sixth inning the combination of making four errors and living on borrowed time with Nestor Cortes Jr. and the underbelly of the bullpen was not a formula for success.
In the fifth frame, the Royals tied the contest at three, as Merrifield stole third, and on the steal, an errant Higashioka throw enabled the Royals DH to score.
Yet, in the sixth inning, the Yankees would re-take the lead against Domingo Tapia. After a one-out walk, Jonathan Davis advanced to second on a wild pitch. With two down, Davis scored on a LeMahieu hit to right.
However, in the home half, Boone allowed Cortes Jr. to pitch to Salvador Perez for the third time. Perez, who homered in the first frame, took Cortes Jr. deep again to square the game at four. Then, after he recorded two strikeouts but allowed a soft single to Rivera, Cortes Jr. was lifted from the game for Stephen Ridings. It was not a great return to KC for Ridings, who gave up an RBI double to Hunter Dozier.
It only got uglier in the seventh inning with Ridings making a throwing error on a bunt that enabled another run to score. Plus, a fielding error by Voit in the eighth inning set up another KC run to cap off their scoring. Brutal stuff.
Tasked with a bullpen game, the Yankee offense was aggressive from the outset. They found plenty of green with their liners to the outfield and burned up the basepaths as well.
Lucas Luetge got the nod and wasn’t too shabby. The Royals would scratch a run back however in the home half. Merrifield singled, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a Perez ground out to third.
Yet, New York upped its lead in the fourth frame. LeMahieu got the ball airborne with a drive to center, plating Wade, who had a solid all-around afternoon. Following a Gardner single, Judge plated LeMahieu with a base knock to center.
From there, the rest of the pen flourished. Albert Abreu pounded the zone and fanned four in 2.1 frames. Chad Green looked the best he’s been in a month with three Ks in two innings. Loaisiga and Britton helped seal the deal in the final two frames.
At 63-51, the Yankees travel to Iowa and then Chicago to take on the Chicago White Sox for a three-game set.
Pitching probables, Andrew Heaney vs. Lance Lynn, TBD vs. Dylan Cease, TBD vs. Lucas Giolito.