Offense hits rock bottom in 1st shutout

Too bad the Yankees could not have saved some of those dozen runs they scored Saturday night for Sunday’s finale of the three-game series at Kansas City. The 12-1 victory Saturday night has been the odd offensive explosion on the trip for the Yankees, who have not scored more than two runs in any other game, and they did not score at all Sunday as they sustained their first shutout of the season.

Decked out in throwback Kansas City Monarchs uniforms in honor of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which is located in that city, the Royals dominated the day in which fans were encouraged to wear their Sunday best to Kauffman Stadium. Many folks in the crowd of 31,251 complied. And the Royals certainly dressed down the Yankees.

Players from both squads wore “28” patches to signify the number the late Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks, wore during his time with the Monarchs in the early 1950s before he integrated the Cubs as the first African-American player with that franchise in 1953. Banks, who wore No. 14 for the Cubs, popularized the phrase, “Let’s play two!” The Yankees, however, were in no mood for two games like the one they played Sunday.

Chris Capuano came off the disabled list and made his first start of the season after recovering from a spring-training quad injury. The lefthander did fine over the first three innings save for a home run by Royals catcher Salvador Perez. Everything fell apart for Capuano in the fourth. The four batters he faced reached base (two walks, two singles), and three of them subsequently scored.

The 4-0 lead that went to a 6-0 final seemed plenty secure in the right arm of Edinson Volquez, who won for the first time in five starts since April 20. He held the Yankees to three hits and no walks (he hit one batter) with five strikeouts in seven innings. Wade Davis and Jason Frasor provided a scoreless inning of relief apiece for the American League Central leaders.

Mark Teixeira, the player who was hit with a pitch in the fourth inning, stayed in the game until the seventh, has a bruise on his right large toe and is day-to-day. Tex leads the clubs in home runs (11) and RBI (28) and with his average up to .248 the Yankees do not want him out of the lineup for long.

The Yanks remained in first place in the AL East, but by merely one game over the Rays, 11-3 winners over the Twins. Tampa Bay took three of four games from the Yanks in the first stop of this trip which continues with a two-game, inter-league series in Washington, D.C., Tuesday and Wednesday nights against the Nationals, who trail the Mets by one game in the National League East.

The Yankees have an open date Monday, their first day off since April 30, and they could definitely use it.

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