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Yankees 14, Royals 1: Everything goes according to plan on Memorial Day

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There was a lot of this going on today
There was a lot of this going on today
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees went into Memorial Day desperate for a win. After losing their sixth straight game and 10 of their last 11, New York sat at .500 on the season and looked to be hitting rock bottom. Thankfully, Jeremy Guthrie pitched in to help give the team exactly what they needed. The right-hander surrendered 11 runs on nine hits and four home runs by the second inning to help the Yankees out of a bind.

The beating started right away as Brett Gardner led off the first inning with a double and Chase Headley hit a bomb to right-center for their first dinger of the day. Things got out of hand from there when Alex Rodriguez singled and Mark Teixeira walked to set up Brian McCann for a three-run home run, their second dinger, and give them a 5–0 lead. That still wasn't enough, though, as Guthrie ended up hitting Didi Gregorius with a pitch and allowed a hit to Slade Heathcott before the lineup batted around and Gardner hit a three-run home run of his own, the third of the inning, to make it 8–0. In the second inning, the Yankee offense started right from where it left off when McCann walked and Garrett Jones hit a double before Stephen Drew put the nail in the coffin with a three-run bomb, their fourth of the day, which chased Guthrie from the game before he could even record an out.

Once Guthrie wasgone, the Yankee bats cooled down a bit, but they still managed to do some damage. The Royals asked Brandon Finnegan to eat up some innings and he provided them with three frames where he only allowed a walk. However, once Finnegan left, the fun started up again. In the fifth, Franklin Morales allowed a tack-on run when Gardner walked and Headley doubled him in. Royals closer Greg Holland came in for the seventh inning, walking Gregorius and giving up Slade Heathcott's first major league home run–their fifth of the day–to push it up to 14–1. After that, A-Rod, Didi, and Jones managed to get one more hit apiece and Headley collected a walk to round out the Memorial Day onslaught.

It seemed like whatever Nathan Eovaldi would manage to do today would be considered inconsequential thanks to the offensive showing, but he actually had a pretty strong day on his own. He allowed one run on eight hits and a walk while striking out four batters over seven innings. The Royals challenged for the first time in the fourth when Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon reached on back-to-back singles. Omar Infante hit what would have scored at least one run, but Chase Headley's leaping catch managed to stop the rally before it could materialize. Kansas City did manage to get in a run in the fifth when Alcides Escobar doubled and Jarrod Dyson knocked him home. Before things could escalate, Dyson attempted to steal second, but after replay review, he was ruled out to end the inning.

If that solid performance from Eovaldi wasn't enough, Memorial Day proved to be a good day for the Yankees farm system as Jacob Lindgren made his major league debut in the eighth inning. He managed to induce a double play ball against his first batter, walked the next guy, then got Salvador Perez to fly out to center field. He started the ninth inning with a leadoff walk, but managed to strikeout Paulo Orlando and Drew Butera before getting Alcides Escobar to fly out to right and end the game.

There wasn't much in the way of negatives today–Eovaldi was effective, the entire offense came to life, struggling players like McCann, Drew, and Didi were in the middle of the action, Slade looked like he belongs in the majors, and we finally saw Lindgren do some nasty things on the mound. All this, plus beautiful weather–no, seriously, go outside–made for a great Memorial Day. Hopefully things can go just half as well tomorrow when Adam Warren faces Jason Vargas in game two of the series.