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Yankees vs. Royals Game Preview: Sabathia to fight the fire

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The Yankees, losers of four straight games, will try and oust the flames tonight in Kansas City as they take on the Royals in the second of a three game set.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees, losers of four straight games, will try and oust the flames tonight in Kansas City as they take on the Royals in the second of a three game set. The Yankees need the game to keep hope of a series win alive.

New York will tab CC Sabathia as its firefighter for the night. Sabathia earned his first win in his last outing, lasting seven innings with three earned runs and nine strikeouts. In his May starts, Sabathia is relying more heavily on his fastball. He’s throwing about 36% four seam fastballs in May while he threw the same pitch only 22% of the time in his four April starts. The increase of the fastball has meant nearly a 10% drop in the usage of his changeup this month. The switch in approach hasn’t yielded jaw-dropping results, but his ERA is lowering from the seven earned run extravaganza on April 25. Sabathia will attempt to give the Yankees a solid outing following ace Michael Pineda’s sluggish start last night.

The Royals will throw Danny Duffy to try and win the series. Duffy has only faced current Yankees in 21 at bats, with a .238 average against in the minuscule sample size. Duffy has struggled mightily in his last two starts. On May 6 he lasted just one inning and allowed four earned runs. Again on May 11 Duffy was yanked after 3 2/3 innings. In that outing Duffy walked six batters and allowed six earned runs. Duffy may be the perfect candidate for the Yankees to again find themselves at the plate and get back to their winning ways, though the lefty still has the capacity to pitch well, as he did with his 2.53 ERA and 3.83 FIP last year indicate.