Contributions from everyone lifts Yanks over KC
Tuesday night’s 10-7 victory over the Royals was a most satisfying victory for the Yankees considering that everyone in the game contributed, which is a rarity. From top to bottom of the batting order the Yanks gave Kansas City pitchers fits, including its vaunted bullpen.
On the pitching side, Masahiro Tanaka was stuck with another no-decision, although in this case it was a positive for him because the Yankees were trailing when he left the game after seven innings. Andrew Miller gave up a run for the first time this season in his new role as the setup man out of the pen, but he ended up with the winning decision when his teammates rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning against another previously unscored-upon relief pitcher, Kelvin Herrera. Aroldis Chapman picked up his first save as a Yankee with a shutout ninth amplified by several more fastballs exceeding 100 miles per hour.
The Royals are finding New York much more inhospitable in the Bronx this week than it was for them last October in Queens when they finished off the Mets to win the World Series in five games.
Lorenzo Cain, one of those Series heroes, had a big night for KC with three home runs, the last of which ended Miller’s scoreless streak and tied the score. Miller ended up striking out the side and then watched the offense get him off the hook.
Rookie Ben Gamel in his first major-league start was the only Yankees player without a hit, but he reached base on an error by shortstop Alcides Escobar that got things started with one out in the eighth. Gamel raced home with the go-ahead run on a double to left-center by Brett Gardner. After Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch, Brian McCann boomed a double off the wall in right-center for a two-Rubin double, his third hit of the game.
A costly balk by Royals reliever Joakim Soria had helped the Yankees come to Tanaka’s aid with two runs in the seventh. The RBI hits came from Dustin Ackley (single) and Adam Hicks (double), who are both batting below .200 but combined for three hits, three runs, two walks and three RBI in this game.
One night after clubbing five home runs, the Yankees were homerless but found production in their 13 hits. Didi Gregorius had two doubles and three RBI. Carlos Beltran singled and doubled and scored a run. Chase Headley also singled home a run.
Such an offensive assault was vital because Tanaka was batted about in yielding three home runs. Cain hit two of his homees off Tanaka, the second a three-run jolt in the fifth that turned a 5-2 KC deficit into a 6-5 lead. Tanaka has only one decision, a victory, in seven starts this season.
Another satisfactory aspect of the Yankees’ 4-1 homestand is that they are putting together winning efforts despite a spate of injuries. Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia are on the disabled list. Jacoby Ellsbury is still not ready to play because of a tight right hip, and Mark Teixeira will likely be out for the remainder of this series due to neck spasms.
Players need to rally around one another when confronted with such circumstances, and the Yankees are doing precisely that.