Facing a lineup that recalled memories of Murderers' Row, the Royals worked together to form a seamless blanket of symbiotic shut-down pitching and sterling defense held the Mighty Yankees to a mere single run.
Early on, James Shields gave rise to the team's collective blood pressure, scuffling through a messy first inning that could have been much worse were it not for a two-plus-run-saving catch in the gap by Lorenzo Cain to free him from a bases-loaded jam. After the first inning, however, Shields was more or less unhittable. Aside from walking two in the third, the Yankees never managed multiple base-runners again against Shields, or the Royals bullpen for that matter. Following a one-out single in the second, the Yankees didn't collect another hit until the eighth inning.
To have shut down any team so authoritatively would be one thing, but this was the Yankees. Shaking off the initial intimidation, Shields dominated a lineup featuring Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki, Robinson Cano, Travis Hafner, Zoilo Almonte, Lyle Overbay, Eduardo Nunez, Luis Cruz, and Chris Stewart--a positively Herculean feat.
Shields was helped out largely by his defense, with Lorenzo Cain making four highlight reel plays harkening back to the years in which Carlos Beltran patrolled center for Kansas City. Mike Moustakas, a late-inning defensive replacement this evening, came in and did his part in the ninth, helping Greg Holland out by recording the third and final out on a high fly ball that appeared to get swirled around by the wind. The catch sent him sprawling, but he maintained his sure grip on both the ball and the victory.
For the first five innings, it did appear as though the Royals were going to hang Shields out to dry once again, as they failed to get anything resembling an offensive strike going against the hefty southpaw CC Sabathia. In the sixth, however, David Lough cranked a towering moonshot into the second deck in right to knot the score at one apiece. In the top of the next inning, Billy Butler decided it was about time he hanged dong and sent a Sabathia fastball in off the plate into the left field stands for his second home run in as many nights. In the Royals' eighth, Escobar and Hosmer hit consecutive one-out doubles to add one more insurance run and bring the score to 3 - 1, where it would stay.