The Kansas City Royals would have liked to spoil Derek Jeter's return to the New York Yankees lineup today, but that fortunately did not turn out to be the case. Andy Pettitte got the win in what was still a very shaky start from the veteran left-hander. Ervin Santana, the losing pitcher for the Royals, had location problems throughout the day that resulted in Santana allowing eight earned runs.
The Royals started off the game getting at Pettitte early after a leadoff single by Alex Gordon followed by Alcides Escobar reaching base after a bunt. Eric Hosmer then grounded out to Robinson Cano that led to a force out at second base. Pettitte then walked Billy Butler that loaded the bases for the hot-hitting Salvador Perez. Perez then drove in Gordon and Hosmer with a double to left. Lorenzo Cain then flew out to center that led to Butler tagging up and scoring from third.
The Yankees responded in the bottom of the first adding one run of their own. Jeter in his first major league at-bat this season singled after Miguel Tejada failed to come up with Jeter's ground ball that rolled toward him at third. Vernon Wells later knocked in Jeter with a sacrifice fly to right.
The Royals would get that run back at the top of the second inning though as David Lough reached second base after a throwing error by Pettitte with one out in the inning. Escobar eventually knocked in Lough with a line-drive single to right field. The one run would be all the Royals would get off Pettitte in the inning, and for the rest of the game.
Keeping the offensive trend the game was taking the Yankees added two more runs in the bottom of the second after a Austin Romine double that brought home Eduardo Nunez. Ichiro Suzuki then proceeded to knock in Romine after Hosmer failed to stop Ichiro's sharp liner to first.
Petttite, who struggled early, kept his composure and coasted through the rest of his day.
In the bottom of the fifth the Yankees really broke things open. Santana walked Ichiro, which was followed by Ichiro making a bold decision attempting a steal on the very good defensive catcher Perez, but was successful. Santana's location problems continued as he walked Cano and Wells back-to-back. Lyle Overbay took advantage of this golden opportunity and knocked in Ichiro and Cano after a hard shot to right field. Zoilo Almonte kept the rally going with an RBI single of his own, but to the opposite field. Almonte would also end the inning getting thrown out at third after a Nunez RBI single up the middle that scored Overbay.
The Yankees would add one more run to the board in the bottom of the sixth with Jeter getting the final RBI of the game knocking in Luis Cruz after grounding out to Escobar.
The bullpen did their thing the rest of the way with Shawn Kelley, David Robertson and Boone Logan all coming in late in the game and kept the Royals offense quiet after their great start to the game.
The team begins a new weekend series against the Minnesota Twins starting tomorrow night at 7:05 EST with Scott Diamond taking the mound for the Twins and Hiroki Kuroda starting for the Yankees.