Chris Capuano took the mound for the first time in the 2015 season, and opened up with three strong innings. A Salvador Perez home run to left just got over the fence, but that aside it was four strikeouts through three, as Capuano showed good command in working through a good Royal lineup. Things unravelled in a hurry in the fourth inning though, after a pair of leadoff walks to Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer. Both came around to score, after Kendrys Morales and Perez followed with hits to make it 3-0 Royals. That was it for Capuano, as Esmil Rogers came on to surrender a double to Omar Infante, conceding one of the inherited runners and leaving runners on second and third with yet no outs in the fourth. Rogers escaped the jam through, a pair of slow grounders sandwiching a big strikeout. Still, it was now a four run game.
A four run game and a locked-in opposing starting pitcher. Edinson Volquez retired the first 11 hitters he faced, before Alex Rodriguez nearly tied the game with one swing, just missing by inches his second opposite field home run in as many days. Rodriguez got a two-out double out of it, and Mark Teixeira reached when he was hit in the toes by a pitch. Brian McCann struck out for the third out though, and the Yankees couldn't bring a run home in the fourth. Volquez went back to dominating the Yankees in the fifth and sixth innings.
Esmil Rogers channeled his inner Jon Lester (h/t Andrew from game thread) when he airmailed a throw to first base six feet above Mark Teixeira's head. No runs conceded, the only damage would have been to Rogers' pride. Actual damage in the sixth when a Chase Headley throwing error to lead off the sixth inning allowed Infante to reach, and he then came around to score on a Paulo Orlando double. Orlando came around to score himself on a groundout and a sacrifice fly, and it was now 6-0 Royals. Justin Wilson got the final out of the sixth, then handed the ball to Chasen Shreve who pitched a pair of scoreless innings to finish out the pitching ledger for the Yankees on the day.
The Yankee offense made some noise against Wade Davis in the eighth inning. Didi Gregorius and Jacoby Ellsbury walked, before Brett Gardner hit a soft grounder that Davis had to field himself at second and leaving him no play. Everybody safe, bases loaded, and Rodriguez at the plate, but Davis got the strikeout he needed and the threat was snuffed out when Garett Jones - who had come in to relieve Teixeira earlier in the game - grounded out to second.
The Yankees did get Carlos Beltran over to third with one out in the ninth, but Stephen Drew lined out to second and Cain made a shoestring catch to rob Didi Gregorius of a hit; preserving the shutout for Kansas City.
This brings an end the 30 game in 31 day marathon, and the team has escaped largely healthy, crucially. The next major spell of games isn't till the second half of June where the Yanks play 20 straight days. New York is off tomorrow, before a two-game set in Washington against the Nationals. Nathan Eovaldi and Adam Warren are the scheduled starters who will get a chance to try their hand at hitting. Hopefully the off-day gives the regular batters a chance to collectively find their swings.
Still in first place.