The Yankees came away with a win tonight against the Royals, taking the series three games to four. More importantly, Chase Headley hit his first extra base hit of the year–a home run! Good job, we all knew you could do it, I think. The game also feature a reunion with Ian Kennedy and was highlighted by a visit from our old friend, Chien-Ming Wang. Overall it was a solid Yankees win that is starting to get a little more common now that the early season slide has leveled off.
If you've ever felt like Brian Cashman should have held onto Ian Kennedy, allow this game to be proof that he made the right decision. The former Yankees prospect induced eight flyball outs against only two ground balls, and he allowed three home runs over the course of the game. As an extreme flyball pitcher, having him regularly start in Yankee Stadium would have been a disaster.
The Yankees got things off started fairly quickly when Starlin Castro launched a solo home run to give them the lead. In the second, Carlos Beltran walked and then Chase Headley hit his two-run home run to make it a 3–0 game. The Royals answered back in the fourth when Alex Gordon hit a solo homer off Nathan Eovaldi. Cheslor Cuthbert then doubled and scored on a Christian Colon single to close the gap to one run. Just when things were starting to look troubling, the Yankees came through again when Beltran drew another walk, and Didi Gregorius hit a two-run home run.
Eovaldi managed to get through five full innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out three batters. He struggled in the fifth, allowing a double to Eric Hosmer and a walk to Kendrys Morales. Gordon singled to make it 5–3, and Salvador Perez gave the ball a ride to the right field fence before Beltran mercifully caught the ball to end the threat.
The Yankees added some insurance runs in the seventh inning when Chase Headley drew a walk, and Austin Romine singled to chase Kennedy from the game. Chien-Ming Wang entered to face his old team for the first time in his career, but it didn't turn out well for him. He walked Brett Gardner and then allowed a run on a bloop single from Castro. Wang then walked Brian McCann with the bases loaded to bring in a run and make it 7–3.
After Eovaldi's five innings, the bullpen was pretty much flawless over the remaining four. Kirby Yates, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller each pitched a perfect inning. The offense was able to give Aroldis Chapman the night off, so Chasen Shreve pitched the ninth. He too could have had a perfect frame, but Mark Teixeira had trouble holding onto the final out of the game. The last out was made by Headley on a tricky play when the ball bounced off the grass and veered off behind him. Going to his right, the third baseman made an adjustment and was able to make a behind-the-back catch and throw to first for the out. It was a good night for Headley as he collected two hits and a walk, making it look like he might almost be out of the woods.