For weeks, the Royals couldn't score enough runs to win 3-2 type games. On Tuesday night, the defending World Champions found a new way to lose, scoring a season-best seven runs, but allowing eight to lose a heartbreaker.
The Royals' pitching staff blew three different leads in the 10-7 loss, but the backbreaker was an eighth-inning error by an All Star shortstop. A three-run eighth inning for the Yankees proved to be the difference, but the loss shouldn't take away from a legendary performance by Lorenzo Cain.
Cain hit three home runs in three straight at bats, belting his third, fourth, and fifth homers of the season. Two were opposite-field jacks. The first was a "Yankee Stadium" home run, a towering shot that just cleared the right-field bleachers. The second was a missile, lined 440 feet to dead left-center field. And after the Yankees re-took the lead, Cain hit another opposite-field bomb into the right-field seats leading off the eighth inning against All Star Andrew Miller.
Cain is the first Royals player to homer in three consecutive at bats since Bo Jackson on July 17, 1990. Ironically, that game was at the old Yankee Stadium.
Kris Medlen started the game for the Royals, but he didn't stay in long. The Yankees quickly loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first, and a run scored on a Dustin Ackley sacrifice fly. In the top of the second, the Royals grabbed a 2-1 lead when Cheslor Cuthbert hit his second career home run into the left-field bleachers. It was his first homer of the year.
In the home half of the second, Medlen gave the run right back on consecutive hits by Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley. After Cain's first home run gave the Royals a 3-2 lead in the third, Medlen put the first two men he faced in the home half of the frame on base, and out came Ned Yost with the hook.
Medlen recorded six outs and allowed nine baserunners. He threw 54 pitches in his 2.0 innings of work, walking three and striking out zero. He was tagged for four runs, surging his ERA to 7.77.
Brian Flynn was inserted into the game, and he walked the bases loaded before Gregorius plated three runs on a bases-clearing double. The 5-3 New York lead held until the top of the fifth, but Cain tagged Masahiro Tanaka again by clobbering his second home run of the game. Cuthbert and Jarrod Dyson led off the frame with base hits, and Cain's longest home run of the season brought them in. Kansas City re-gained the lead, 6-5.
Following scoreless frames by Danny Duffy and Luke Hochevar, Joakim Soria entered for the seventh inning. In a one-on, one-out situation, Soria was called for his third balk of the year, negating a strikeout and advancing Brian McCann into scoring position. Soria did retire Beltran on a comebacker, but with two outs, Ackley and Aaron Hicks followed with RBI hits, putting New York back in front, 7-6.
In the top of the eighth, Andrew Miller was summoned to face the heart of the Royals order, but Cain jumped him for his third home run of the game. But Kansas City wasted a two-on, two-out scoring chance, and Kelvin Herrera was shaky from the beginning of his outing in the home half of the inning.
After getting Headley out, rookie Ben Gamel hit a chopper right to Alcides Escobar, but the normally sure-handed shortstop booted the ball for an error. Brett Gardner broke the tie with an opposite-field double, and after Starlin Castro was hit by a pitch, McCann drove them both in with a double of his own. Yankee Stadium went insane, and the Royals were behind, 10-7.
Cain's bid for a fourth home run came up short against Aroldis Chapman, and the Royals lost by a final score of 10-7. They have now lost 11 of their last 14 games.
Miller, despite giving up the game-tying homer in the eighth, earned the win. He is 2-0.
Herrera took the loss. His ERA went from 0.00 to 1.17 after being charged for two earned runs (and one unearned one).
Chapman earned his first save as a Yankee with a 21-pitch ninth frame.
Masahiro Tanaka's line: 7.0 innings despite throwing just 79 pitches. The Royals got him for six runs and seven hits, and they only struck out four times.
The Royals did hit four home runs, something they did just once last year, against two pitchers that had allowed a combined two home runs all season entering Tuesday night.
Up next: Yordano Ventura and Michael Pineda. The Royals have lost five straight games in the Bronx. They need a win.