Home runs from Gardner, Gregorius and Carter allow Yankees to prevail over the Royals 4-2
The Yankees were coming off a disappointing series against the Rays where they lost two out of three games, and the only game they won was against Chris Archer. The Yankees were 4-6 in their last ten games, but remained a half a game above the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East. They came home to face the Kansas City Royals, who were in the cellar of the Central and were 6-14 on the road. The Yankees sent Michael Pineda to try to silence the poor Kansas City offense, and the Royals sent Jason Vargas who has been phenomenal, except in his start last week against the Yankees.
|Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II | AP|
The Yankees hit the ball hard early against Vargas, but had nothing to show for it after the first two innings, but the Royals got to Michael Pineda in the top of the third. After appearing like he was cruising through the Royals’ lineup, Pineda threw a pitch down the middle to Jorge Bonifacio and he cranked a solo homer to left to open the scoring. Whit Merrifield then hit a single off Pineda’s leg to set up the struggling Alcides Escobar’s double down the left field line, which made the score 2-0.
The Yankees cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, when Brett Gardner continued his home run rampage by cranking his ninth home run of the season. In the bottom of the fourth, Didi Gregorius crushed a home run deep to right field to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Didi is continuing to prove that he handles lefties extremely well at the plate.
|Frank Franklin II | AP|
Michael Pineda had a lead off runner on second in the fourth and fifth and was able to battle through at-bats and prevent the runner from scoring. On a day where he did not have his best stuff, Pineda was able to pitch effectively enough to keep the team in the game and keep the lead intact. He pitched six and a third strong innings and left the game with a runner on first with a 3-2 lead.
Adam Warren came in and got an out, before Alcides Escobar hit a ball in the hole that he beat out, and heads up baserunning from Jorge Soler allowed him to score from second on a ball that never left the infield. Joe Girardi challenged the play at first, and a replay showed that Carter scooped Starlin Castro’s throw a millisecond before Escobar’s foot hit the bag. The call was overturned, the Yankees kept their lead, and allowed Pineda to stay in line for the victory.
|Frank Franklin II | AP|
Chris Carter continued the trend here at the BBB, where someone performs well shortly after one of our writers writes a piece about that player’s poor play. He blasted a solo home run into the left field seats to give the Yankees’ bullpen an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh.
Tyler Clippard pitched a 1-2-3 scoreless eighth inning. Dellin Betances came into pitch the ninth inning, after his four out save in yesterday's game. After a leadoff single by Salvador Perez, Betances retired the next three batters to rack up his third save of the season.
The second game of this four game series will be played tomorrow at Yankee Stadium at 7:05 PM EST. Jordan Montgomery will look to rebound from his poor start last week in Kansas City for the Yankees, and Danny Duffy will try to replicate his dominant performance last week against the Bombers for the Royals.
Winning Pitcher: Michael Pineda (5-2 3.35 ERA) 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR
Losing Pitcher: Jason Vargas (5-3 2.30 ERA) 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 2 HR
Save: Dellin Betances (3)
Brett Gardner 1-4 1 HR (9), 1 RBI, 1 R
Didi Gregorius 2-3 HR (2) 2 RBI 1 R
Chris Carter 1-3 1 HR (3) 1 R 1 RBI 1 R
Jorge Bonifacio 1-4 HR (5), 1 RBI, 1 R
Alcides Escobar 1-4 1 2B, 1 RBI
Article By: Ryan Thoms