Yankees explode against previous MLB ERA leader Jason Vargas in 11-7 victory over Royals

The New York Yankees are guaranteed a series win following an 11-7 win over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night. A strong performance by Michael Pineda, combined with a multi-hit performance by nearly every start, led the Yankees to a dominating performance. It is Pineda’s fourth win of the season improving his record to 4-2 and it moved his ERA to 3.42.
Photo Credit: Charlie Riedel | AP

The Yankees went ahead early as Starlin Castro doubled down the right field line in the first inning scoring Brett Gardner. The real damage would be done in the fourth inning when Didi Gregorius drove home the second Yankee run with an RBI single. Aaron Hicks then hit a three run home run on their way to a five run outburst that also included an RBI triple from Brett Gardner. Kansas City would try their best to respond in the bottom of the inning with a two run home run from Salvador Perez but New York’s offense wouldn’t let up putting together a big fifth inning.

Chase Headley would drive home two runs on an RBI single, followed by an RBI single by Gregorius. Chris Carter then grounded out scoring the ninth Yankee run. Then, Brett Gardner drove home the final run of the big Yankee inning on a sacrifice fly. Over the course of six innings, Pineda struck out five and allowing three earned runs. This big inning effectively ended the game as the Royals chased Pineda to no avail. The opposing starter, Jason Vargas, seemed dead-on-arrival, throwing only four innings and giving up six runs.

Kansas City would make a late run at the game getting five hits and three runs in the ninth inning off Giovanny Gallegos forcing an appearance by the team’s newest closer Dellin Betances. The 29-year old faced one batter, Eric Hosmer, getting him on a slow roller back to the mound. It was Betances’ first closing effort of the season.

Starlin Castro was the star of the game, going 3-for-4 with two runs. Every starter had a hit in the game with only Aaron Judge, Headley and Carter hitting just once. Every player also scored at least one run as the team attempted to match their season high of 14 runs, but they did match their season high in hits with 16.

The game provided the Yankee bullpen another respite as the team turned to a combination of throwers not normally seen aside from Adam Warren. Tommy Layne and Giovanny Gallegos were the other pitchers who closed out the strong performance on the road.

The win keeps New York in first place, ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees will complete their three game set against the Kansas City Royals tomorrow night before traveling to Tampa for a three game set against the Rays.

Winning Pitcher: Michael Pineda (4-2, 3.42 ERA) 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 5 K
Losing Pitcher: Jason Vargas (5-2, 2.03 ERA) 4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R (6 ER), 3 BB, 4 K
Closing Pitcher: Dellin Betances (1)

Notables:
Starlin Castro: 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Brett Gardner: 2-5, 3B 1 R, 2 RBI
Aaron Judge: 1-3, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K
Didi Gregorius: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI
Aaron Hicks: 2-4, HR (7), R, 3 RBI, BB, K
Gary Sanchez: 2-4, R, BB
Salvador Perez: 1-3, HR (8), R, 2 RBI
Whit Merrifield: 1-4, HR (4), R, RBI

Article by: Anthony J. Merced

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