- Home runs!
- The Royals forgot how to hit the baseball after the third inning
Who says that you can't hit home runs at Kauffman? Everyone? Oh.
Oh well. The Royals hit some home runs anyway. It's too bad they didn't hit more. They could have used one or two more. In the first inning, Cheslor Cuthbert hit a rope to right field for a single. On a slow roller to second, Eric Hosmer avoided the double play. Luis Cessa threw a curveball to Kendrys Morales, the next batter. It wasn't a terrible pitch, but Morales extended his arms and put it well beyond the wall in center field for a 2-0 lead to start the game.
There were no homers in the second inning, but the Royals were able to score due to the Yankee defense. Paulo Orlando hit a chopper to third base, and Chase Headley completely whiffed the ball. Orlando wound up on second base for Alcides Escobar, who doubled him in.
The next homer had to wait until the third inning. Hosmer took a line drive to the opposite field; though the ball cleared the left field fence with enough oomph, from my vantage point at the stadium it looked barely fair. Nevertheless, I can get excited about opposite field dingers. That made the score 4-0 Royals.
Unfortunately, the Yankees are home-run hitters themselves. Even their middle infielders. Ian Kennedy did not have his swing and miss stuff tonight. He was allowing fly ball after fly ball, and eventually it bit him in the sixth inning.
Kennedy allowed the first two runners to reach on a single and a walk. He then allowed two long fly balls which moved the lead runner to third and then home for the first Yankee run. With one runner on, Starlin Castro took Kennedy "deep", just clearing the wall in left center. Kennedy induced the grounder he desperately needed earlier in the inning to get the final out after the damage was done.
Despite looking pretty gassed, Kennedy went back out for the seventh inning. He got the first out on a hard-hit line drive to Raul Mondesi, but he walked the next batter. That did Kennedy in, and Scott Alexander came on in relief. Brett Gardner singled to move the lead runner to third before Jacoby Ellsbury hit a fly ball deep enough to center to bring in the runner on a sacrifice fly, which tied the game.
The Royals had a chance to retake the lead in the bottom half of the inning but blew it. Raul Mondesi led off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Dyson. Anxious to move to third, Mondesi took off for third, trying to steal, but ended up timing it incorrectly and got caught in a rundown.
Neither team scored in the ninth inning, so for the second night in a row to extra innings we go.
There wasn't much of a scoring threat until the bottom of the 11th. Salvador Perez was hit by a pitch and promptly pinch-run for. Billy Burns stole second, but then Gordon walked to put men on first and second with two outs for Paulo Orlando. On the second pitch of the plate appearance, Burns took third base. The next pitch, Gordon took second. Orlando fouled off a few two-strike fastballs before lining out to second base. It was solid contact, but Castro was right there.
The Yankees got their opportunity in the top of the 12th. Jammed by Chris Young, Chase Headley pushed a light fly ball into right field that dropped in front of Orlando for a single. Brett Gardner singled to Orlando as well, and Orlando air-mailed the throw home. The Royals were lucky that Headley was held at third, but Gardner advanced to second on the throw. That prompted an intentional walk of Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases with only one out. Gary Sanchez lined out to Cuthbert without advancing any runners. Mark Teixeira grounded out to Escobar, so somehow Young worked out of a nasty jam while keeping the score tied.
Young got knocked out of the game in the 13th. The first two hitters singled and doubled to put men on second and third with no outs. Ned Yost tasked Matt Strahm with putting out the fire. He could not, though that wasn't necessarily his fault. Brian McCann hit a fly ball deep enough in left center to advance both runners, which gave the Yankees their first lead of the night. Strahm didn't allow another run to score.
Cuthbert led off the bottom of the 13th with a walk, but that all got erased because Dellin Betances fielded a dribbler grounder between his legs from the bat of Eric Hosmer. Double play. Morales flew out to right field to end the game.
The Royals have an off day on Thursday before facing the Tigers on Friday.