The Yankees had everything going perfectly on paper. They had their most effective starter going against a last-place team as they tried to complete a perfect 7-0 road trip. Things didn’t unfold as planned, however, as Domingo German got torched for seven runs and the Yankees dropped the finale to the Royals 8-7.
New York struck first against Royals starter Danny Duffy. Gleyber Torres stroked a one-out single in the second inning, moved up when Kendrys Morales walked, and scored on a single by Clint Frazier. A 1-0 lead seemed like a good start at the time, but their failure to extend the rally when Gio Urshela grounded into an inning-ending double play loomed large later.
Things started off swimmingly for German, as he struck out two of the three batters he faced in the first inning. He then struck out Alex Gordon to begin the second, but that’s when the wheels fell off. Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler singled. After Ryan O’Hearn struck out, Martin Maldonado launched German’s first-pitch curveball over the left-center field wall to give the Royals a 3-1 lead.
Kansas City kept adding on by taking German deep. O’Hearn blasted a solo shot in the fourth, and Dozier added a two-run homer in the fifth. The Royals went back-to-back, as Soler followed with his second dinger of the game, to take a seemingly commanding 7-1 lead.
But, as they’ve done so many times this season, the Yankees battled back. In the sixth, Aaron Hicks reached on a two-out throwing error by Adalberto Mondesi, and Gary Sanchez followed with a single. Gleyber Torres then crushed his 13th home run of the year, to put the Yankees back in the game down 7-4.
Frazier singled to lead off the seventh, but was erased when Urshela grounded into another double play. That double play represented another missed opportunity, as Cameron Maybin followed with a double to center field. The Yankees also wasted a leadoff walk by Luke Voit in the eighth, when Hicks grounded into a force out and Sanchez and Torres struck out.
The Bombers broke through to tie the game in the ninth. Frazier and Urshela knocked one-out singles off Royals closer Ian Kennedy. Pinch-hitter Brett Gardner struck out, then DJ LeMahieu singled home Frazier to pull the Yankees to within two. After Voit walked to load the bases, the Yankees finally tied the game at 7-7 when Hicks rocketed a line-drive single to right to score Urshela and LeMahieu.
German simply didn’t have it today, as he allowed seven runs on nine hits and only lasted five frames. The Yankees got brilliant relief from Nestor Cortes Jr, though. The southpaw twirled four scoreless innings to keep the Yankees in the game. He allowed four hits and two walks, pitching into and out of a bases loaded jam with two outs in the ninth.
Unfortunately, the Yankees’ luck ran out in the tenth. Jonathan Holder entered the game in relief, and issued an ill-advised one-out walk to speedster Billy Hamilton — who promptly stole second. Urshela momentarily saved the Yankees’ bacon, as he snared a hot shot down the third-base line, checked Hamilton back to second, and threw a laser across the diamond to nip the batter at first for the second out of the inning. All was for naught, however, as Whit Merrifield kangarooed a ball over Urshela’s head and into left field on the next play to score the winning run.
Join us tomorrow as the Yankees take on the Padres to begin a six-game homestand. Left-hander Matt Strahm (2-3, 3.06 ERA) toes the slab for San Diego, while New York has yet to announce a starter. First pitch is set for 1:05 EDT.