After his last two shaky outings, Andy Pettitte got the start and went back to the solid Andy we've come to expect. His performance on the mound, along with a go-ahead, two-run home run by Vernon Wells was enough to give the Yankees a 3-2 win over the Royals on Saturday.
Pettitte went seven innings, allowing just two runs on five hits and one walk, while striking out seven. It was a really nice outing after he had struggled in the previous two against the Astros and A's. It was also needed, as Royals' starter James Shields had a decent outing of his own. But, Shields wasn't quite as good as Pettitte.
It was the Yankees' offense who opened the game's scoring, in the third inning. Chris Nelson led off the inning with a double. (No, seriously he did.) After Chris Stewart and Brett Gardner failed to advance Nelson, Robinson Cano came to the plate. Cano grounded one to third to Mike Moustakas, but the third baseman's throw was too high and went over Eric Hosmer's head. The error allowed Nelson to score, and the Yankees took a 1-0 lead. It wasn't to last, as the Royals answered back immediately, in the bottom half of the inning.
Elliot Johnson led off the inning for Kansas City with a single on a soft grounder to Pettitte. Johnson then stole second, and moved to third on Alcides Escobar's ground out. This brought Lorenzo Cain to the plate. He grounded out too, but it was enough to score Johnson to tie the game.
And in the very next inning, the Royals took the lead. Billy Butler led off the inning with a home run off Pettitte, and the Royals were in front 2-1. But it wasn't long until the Yankees answered back.
In the top of fifth inning, Chris Stewart led off against James Shields, and reached first after he was hit by Shield's pitch. After Gardner and Cano both recorded outs, Vernon Wells came to the plate. Wells smashed one over the left field wall into the home bullpen, and the Yankees were back in front with the score now 3-2.
After allowing the two Kansas City runs, Andy Pettitte shut the Royals down. He allowed just one hit and a walk after the fourth inning, both coming in the fifth inning. Pettitte retired the last nine batters he faced, before turning it over to the bullpen for the eighth and ninth.
David Robertson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and turned it over to Mariano Rivera for the ninth. It got a little shaky for Mo in the ninth, after he allowed a two-out double to Salvador Perez. He battled against Moustakas, but eventually got the third baseman to fly out, giving the Yankees the 3-2 win.