After a relatively underwhelming offseason, the Kansas City Royals turned some of their hopes to a right fielder named Jorge. Jorge had prodigious power, and as a youngster, the Royals thought he could tap into some of that power and crank the offense to a new gear. Jorge would be part of the new Royals post-2017, and his success this year was important, too.
What, Soler? No no no; I’m talking about Bonifacio.
Jorge Bonifacio’s two-run blast in the seventh inning gave the Royals their first lead of the night, a lead that they would continue to expand later against a flailing New York Yankees bullpen. Kansas City outdid the Yankees in their own game, crushing home runs and bashing their way to a 6-2 victory.
But it all started with Danny Duffy. Duffy has been excellent all year, and tonight was no different. New York did put a couple good swings on Duffy’s pitches and notched a pair of solo home runs from those swings. One of those was a short-porch bloop by Aaron Hicks that would not have been a home run in Kauffman Stadium by any stretch.
336 feet on the Hicks homer to RF. Here are all the flyballs hit to RF at Kauffman Stadium between 330-340 feet and result. pic.twitter.com/vQ5Di4iG21— Shaun Newkirk (@Shauncore) May 24, 2017
The other home run given up by Duffy was a no-doubter that Chris Carter crushed to left field. Sometimes that happens, especially from guys like Carter, whose shot against Duffy was the 154th of his career.
But outside of those two swings, Duffy was great. For the second consecutive start, he leaned heavily on his slider against the Yankees, and for the second consecutive start, it worked wonders. Duffy struck out seven batters over seven innings, walking only three, and allowing no runner to score outside of those two solo shots. It was a good-looking box score, but the best pitchers have a way of being in control and squirming out of minor jams that makes their composite performance seem completely unflappable, and Duffy certainly was so.
For most of the game, Duffy was backed by poor offense. The Royals only had a single hit halfway through the contest. But Kansas City did enough to force Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery out after 6.2 innings, a towering lean-back home run to left field by Lorenzo Cain serving as Montgomery’s parting gift.
Against new pitcher Adam Warren, Salvador Perez singled. Bonifacio then launched his home run, an opposite-field fly ball that took advantage of the short right-field porch in Yankee Stadium (this is a running theme, if you have not noticed). At that point, it was 3-2 Royals.
Against new pitcher Jonathan Holder in the eighth inning, Whit Merrifield launched his fifth homer of the season to, where else, the short right field porch. 4-2 Royals. Holder hit Alcides Escobar with a pitch a few batters later, and then was removed for Chasen Shreve, owner of the whitest name in the entire state of New York. Shreve immediately coughed up a home run to right field (of course), the ball crushed by Mike Moustakas for his 11th homer of the year (the catch: Moose’s home run would have been one anywhere in baseball).
The Royals closed out the game with clean bullpen innings from Joakim Soria and Mike Minor. It was a solid 6-2 victory. The Royals play another in New York tomorrow.