Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Yankees offense was the star of the show in their win tonight. Jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first, the Yankees were able to put the game out of reach with their hot-hitting with two huge innings.
Starlin Castro doubled to deep right field to start the scoring by bringing home Brett Gardner in the opening frame. It ended up being a sign of things to come. On their way to 16 hits, New York took a 6-0 lead in the 4th inning. Didi Gregorius plated Castro with a single before an Aaron Hicks three-run shot cleared the bases. Gardner would triple to score Chris Carter before it was all over.
Kansas City got two runs back in the bottom of the 4th, but the Yankees followed their five-run inning with a four-run inning in the 5th. It was kind of 1000 paper cuts for the Royals. Chase Headley and Gregorius had RBI singles, Carter had an RBI fielder’s choice, and Gardner hit a sacrifice fly. Nothing too loud, but effective all the same.
Royals starter Jason Vargas entered the game as one of the hottest pitchers to this point in the season. The Yankees continued to have his number, though, as he remains winless against them. He’d given up just one run at Kauffman Stadium this season until he ran into the Yankees’ hot bats.
On the other side, Michael Pineda was good not great. He lasted six innings and surrendered four runs, three of which were earned. He also allowed two home runs with one coming off the bat of Salvador Perez (understandable) and the other from Whit Merrifield (don’t do that).
Pretty much everything went exactly according to plan. Every batter in the Yankees’ lineup had at least one hit, and most of them had two. Castro led the way with three hits and a walk to continue his torrid pace. The bullpen was pretty effective in relief of Pineda until the ninth inning.
In the ninth, frustration set in. It was 11-4 with Giovanny Gallegos trying to close out a lopsided win. The Royals led the inning off with a single from Jorge Soler before picking up two quick outs. Then Gallegos let the floodgates open. Four straight singles brought home three runs and required Joe Girardi to bring Dellin Betances into a game that should have been a laugher. Betances got Eric Hosmer to ground out to end the annoying inning and the game. The only other real point of real discontent was that Headley committed two errors in the field, bringing him to nine on the season.
The Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles earlier tonight, which gives the Yankees a tiny bit more breathing room in the divisional race for what that’s worth at this stage. New York has had a hard time shaking the O’s despite how well they’ve been playing, so any help in that regard is welcome.
Jordan Montgomery and the Yankees go for the sweep tomorrow night with Danny Duffy on the mound for the Royals. The game starts at 8:15 pm ET on FS1 where Alex Rodriguez makes his announcing debut.