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Yankees 4, Royals 2: Pineda and A-Rod sweep away Kansas City

A strong pitching performance from Pineda and an A-Rod home run were enough to finish off a sweep of the Royals.

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, the Yankees' had their worst stretch of the season. And seemingly to make matters worse, the first-place Royals were coming to town for a series. But baseball's a weird game and a couple days after looking terrible, the Yankees actually came into today's game with a chance to sweep. And they did just that. After a go-ahead home run from Alex Rodriguez in the third, the Yankees would hold onto the lead for good. That was thanks mostly to a solid 6.2 innings from Michael Pineda, who turned it over to the bullpen. The bullpen closed out the remaining 2.1 innings without much fuss and the Yankees came away with a 4-2 win.

The game didn't start particularly well for the Yankees when Mike Moustakas homered in the second at bat of the game. The Yankees quickly found themselves down 1-0.

The Yankees would get that run back in the bottom of the second when Brian McCann hit a upper deck home run, tying the game at one.

An inning later, the Yankees took the lead. Brett Gardner led off the inning with a double. After Chase Headley walked, Alex Rodriguez came to the plate. A-Rod managed to get a ball to just clean the fence in left field for a three run home run. That gave the Yankees a 4-1 lead.

After surrendering the early home run, Pineda began to settle in. He got into a few jams, but he managed to escape every time. After striking out the first two batters in the seventh, Girardi decided to go to the bullpen. Pineda finished his day with 6.2 innings pitched, allowing one run on six hits and one walk, while striking out eight. Dan Carpenter came in, but after allowing one hit, Girardi took him out and brought in Justin Wilson. Wilson got Moustakas to fly out to end the inning.

The Yankees very nearly added to their lead in the bottom of the seventh. A two-out rally loaded the bases for Chris Young. Young took one deep to left, but it died at the warning track for the third out of the inning.

Dellin Betances was brought in to pitch the eighth for the Yankees. It didn't start out perfectly as he allowed a lead-off walk to Lorenzo Cain. After Eric Hosmer struck out, Kendrys Morales came to the plate. During the at bat, Cain stole second. Morales grounded one on the right side of the infield. Didi Gregorius, who was playing over as part of a shift, made a nice play to get to the ball. He tried to make a flip to first to get Morales who was closing in on the bag. However, Gregorius probably should've just held onto the ball. It skipped away from Teixeira, allowing Morales to reach safely and Cain to score. That made it 4-2. Betances would strike out the next two hitters to end the inning, limiting the damage to just that one run.

After the Yankees went down in order in the bottom of the eighth, Andrew Miller came in to try and finish things off. Miller didn't have much trouble doing so and the Yankees came away with a series-sweeping 4-2 win over the Royals. Baseball's a fun game.

Tomorrow sees the Yankees head out to Oakland to start a west coast road trip. CC Sabathia will start the opener for the Yankees, while Kendall Graveman will pitch for the Athletics. First pitch will be at 10:05 pm eastern.

Box score.