The Yankees sure needed that win, didn’t they? The Bombers have played sluggish baseball for a month now, and it looked like they would drop this game too. Instead, the team battled back and secured a come-from-behind win, topping the Royals by a score of 5 - 4.
After losing this afternoon, the Yankees came out swinging in the first inning of tonight’s game. It started with back-to-back hits by Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton, who advanced via a Didi Gregorius fly ball. Gardner then scored on a Miguel Andujar single, while Stanton came home thanks to a Neil Walker sacrifice fly. Just like that the Yankees had a quick 2 - 0 lead.
The Bombers tacked on in the fourth inning, when Shane Robinson clubbed a two-out solo home run to left field. After tossing his bat away, he went flying around the basepaths. Robinson looked so excited, and for good reason. That was his first home run of 2018, between two cups of coffee in the big leagues and at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. I’ve watched the clip about a dozen times now, and it’s still entertaining.
On the pitching side of things, CC Sabathia had his shortest outing since May 23rd, lasting just 4.2 innings. He began the night in dominant fashion, striking out the first two batters he faced. Then he loaded the bases and appeared in real trouble. The southpaw forced Hunter Dozier to ground out to end the frame.
In the third inning, Salvador Perez took Sabathia deep for solo homer. That put the Royals on the board, but the big left-hander settled back down. He struck out the next four batters he faced, firing off a scoreless fourth inning in the process.
Unfortunately, the wheels came off in the fifth inning. With one on and one out, Sabathia took a fall while trying to field a Rosell Herrera groundball. He landed weirdly on his bad knee, but got up and was fine.
CC ended up in a bases loaded jam against Lucas Duda. He couldn’t put the Royals first baseman away, instead walking in a run. That finished Sabathia’s night, having allowed two runs over 4.2 innings, striking out eight in the process. His season stats slightly creeped up, 3.53 ERA with a 4.55 FIP, but overall not a terrible night.
Jonathan Holder came on to bail out Sabathia in the fifth, and he got the job done. Sadly, he created his own mess in the top of the sixth. With two on and two out, Boone removed Holder in favor of Chad Green. The fireman came in and quickly allowed a game-tying single to Herrera. Green escaped the inning, but not before the Royals evened the score.
Then came Zach Britton. His second appearance in pinstripes didn’t go nearly as well as the first. After picking up two quick outs, he allowed a double to Dozier and an infield single to Brian Goodwin. The left-hander then completely lost the zone, walking the next two batters on eight pitches, forcing in the go-ahead run. Britton got out of the inning, but not before allowing the Royals to take a 4 - 3 lead.
Greg Bird, however, took the heat off Britton in the bottom of the eighth. He crushed a Brian Flynn two-seam fastball for a solo homer, tying the game at four runs apiece. The red-hot Walker followed with a double, and the Yankees were in business. Austin Romine, pinch hitting for Kyle Higashioka, bunted to move Walker to third. Romine picked up a base hit in the process! Gleyber Torres then pinch hit for Tyler Wade, drawing a walk to load the bases.
With the bases loaded and no outs, Aaron Hicks stepped up to the plate. He lifted a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Walker and giving the Yankees the lead. The Bombers had a chance to tack on a few more runs, but Gardner and Stanton made the final outs of the inning.
Aroldis Chapman took over in the ninth, making his first appearance since last weekend’s meltdown. He promptly allowed a single to Adalberto Mondesi. Chapman rebounded with two quick outs, but he walked Drew Butera, allowing Mondesi to steal third in the process. The flame-throwing southpaw struck out Whit Merrifield looking to end the game, thankfully sealing the victory.
Tomorrow afternoon’s game features the Yankees debut of J.A. Happ. He will square off against Burch Smith. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM, and there are still tickets available. You can purchase them from StubHub by clicking here.