If you checked the box score of this game, you would find only one error charged to the Yankees. If you watched the game however, you would feel very differently about that outcome.
The Yankees’ outfield had a day out in Kauffman Stadium, and Aroldis Chapman experienced his own adventure on the mound in the ninth. The Yankees persevered, however, to take the second half of tonight’s doubleheader and complete the sweep. They got some timely hits to get ahead early, and the bullpen did a remarkable job to hold onto the lead in spite of the self-inflicted jams the defense provided.
The bullpen brigade started early because of the decision to go with Chad Green as an opener again, and it got less than desirable results. Green was limited to one inning this time, but still managed to allow a run thanks to the first of several questionable base hit calls, a double to right that Clint Frazier couldn’t handle. Frazier made up for it somewhat by nailing the following runner at the plate, but the Royals briefly had the lead.
Briefly being the optimal word, because the Yankee bats got the run back with interest in the very next frame. The first seven Yankees reached base, including a bases-loaded single that scored two from Austin Romine, a double from Cameron Maybin to plate another two, and a single from DJ LeMahieu to bring home Maybin. That chased Royals starter Jorge Lopez from the game after just an inning plus, but Glenn Sparkman was able to get out of the jam without further damage.
Chance Adams took over for Green in the second, and gave New York an efficient four innings of work as the 26th man on the roster for the occasion. A couple of interactions in the outfield between Brett Gardner and Frazier not being able to cover the ball or get on the same page coverage-wise resulted in a few runs scoring, but Adams handed a 6-4 lead over to the priority arms and saved considerable bullets from being spent today.
The combination of Jonathan Holder, Tommy Kahnle, and Zack Britton allowed just one baserunner en route to the ninth, but the offense couldn’t provide more insurance runs. They had an opportunity in the seventh with the bases loaded, but LeMahieu flew out to right.
Thus, Aroldis Chapman entered to protect the two-run lead. Chapman retired the first batter with little issue, but issued a four-pitch walk to speedster Billy Hamilton. Wary of Hamilton’s speed, Chapman attempted to check him with a pickoff but threw away the ball, allowing Hamilton to advance all the way to third base. Cam Gallagher brought Hamilton home on an awkward sacrifice fly down the third base line, but Chapman rebounded to strike out Terrance Gore for the final out and locked down the save.
The doubleheader secured at least a series split for the surging Bombers, who have now won seven in a row and 11 of their last 12, and they will have the opportunity to sweep the series tomorrow with Domingo German on the mound. German will attempt to be the first major league pitcher to reach double-digit wins this season, so tune in tomorrow to see if he can pull it off.