Voit's 7th inning blast propels Yankees to 7-3 win in Game 1 vs. KC

After being rained out on Friday evening, the Yankees and Royals took to the field on Saturday afternoon for the first game of a day-night doubleheader to begin their three-game series.  The Yankees came in hot, riding a five-game winning streak, and sent JA Happ to the mound.  He was opposed by righty Jakob Junis of the Royals.  A seventh inning monster two-run home run off the bat of Luke Voit proved to be the difference in this one as the Yankees would go on to win by a score of 7-3. 

Photo Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP Photo

The Yankees’ offense started off hot in this one, plating two runs off Junis in the first inning.  Aaron Hicks drew a walk to start things off, before Voit singled to left to put first and second on with no outs.  Although both Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres would strike out on sliders low and away well off the plate, the inning still proved fruitful when Clint Frazier ripped a two-run double down the right field line that scored both Hicks & Voit.  

Junis would settle down over the middle innings, but the Yankees were able to add a third run in the top of the sixth after Brett Gardner tripled to right and scored on Gio Urshela's foul ball sac fly down the right field line. 

On the other end, Happ was locked in early.  He would retire 16 of the first 17 hitters he faced, before running into trouble with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

After Billy Hamilton bunted for a single – the Royals’ first hit since the first inning – Nicky Lopez would shoot a liner past Urshela to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Whit Merrifield. 

Merrifield would blast the second pitch he saw into the left field stands to knot the game at three.  Happ was in total control of the game coming into the inning, but had effectively lost the lead in an eyeblink.  He would finish his outing by striking out both Adalberto Mondesi and Alex Gordon to finish with 10 strikeouts on the day.

However, the Yankees would re-take the lead immediately in the top of the seventh inning.  Hicks single to center with one out, setting up the big moment in this game.  Voit absolutely unloaded on an 0-1 slider, hung middle-in, and deposited it 470 feet from the plate, giving New York a 5-3 lead they would never surrender. 

After a clean bottom of the seventh from Adam Ottavino, the Yankees would stretch their lead further after a leadoff walk to Frazier, a bunt single by Gardner and then a two-run double by Thairo Estrada.  The 7-3 scored proved to be the final in this one.  Luis Cessa closed out the final two innings to secure the win. 

What’s Next?: 
Weather permitting, the Yankees and Royals will play again this evening at 8:15 EST.  The Yankees will have Chad Green start in an opener situation, the Royals will counter with Jorge Lopez (0-5, 6.04). 

Recap by: Andrew Natalizio 


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