The Royals, newly lacking their best hitter, immediately went on an offensive rampage for 10 runs against one of the best pitchers in the American League. Led by Rosell Herrera’s pair of doubles and Brian Goodwin’s 3-run home run the team covered for Brad Keller’s poor outing which saw him give up four runs while unable to escape the sixth. It seems Goodwin and Herrera are taking the Royals’ acquisition of outfielder Brett Phillips as a challenge even though Herrera will apparently be seeing some playing time at third base with Mike Moustakas’ departure and Hunter Dozier’s inability to hit well enough to stake his own claim, as of yet.
Keller was basically in trouble the entire game but with plays like Salvador Perez’s unassisted double play to help him escape a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the second inning without giving up a run, he wasn’t completely shelled. Giancarlo Stanton did tag him for a massive two-run bomb to center.
Luis Severino gave up more than three runs at home for the first time all season and his day was finished when Lucas Duda absolutely skied a two-run home run to right field to cap a four-run fifth inning. Salvy and Alex Gordon didn’t want to be outdone by the new kids so they both added a pair of hits, as well.
Salvador Perez got the scoring started for the Royals when they were already down by two with a solo shot in the third inning. Heath Fillmyer struggled a bit, tonight, giving up three runs in his five innings including a massive home run from Shane Robinson in the fourth inning.
Rosell Herrera and Brian Goodwin could not be stopped in the nightcap, either. Herrera added three hits and Goodwin tacked on two more of his own. The two combined to go 8-for-17 on the day. They scored 3 and drove in 6 of the Royals 14 total runs.
One week after walking nine times in a single game the Royals walked five times more in this one, including twice with the bases loaded. One of those was Duda in the fifth to tie the game and the other was Drew Butera in the seventh against new Yankee Zach Britton to give the Royals the lead.
Brian Flynn looked terrific in the sixth and seventh innings but gave up a game-tying blast to Greg Bird with his first pitch in the eighth inning. After he allowed a double to the next batter Ned Yost finally went to the bullpen again for... Glenn Sparkman. Summoning sparks near a pool of gasoline is rarely a good idea and Glenn immediately loaded the bases. After Butera used the team’s last mound visit Aaron Hicks slapped a sacrifice fly into left field and the Yankees had the lead again. To his credit, Sparkman - a career starter - did get out of the jam without allowing any more damage. He struck out Giancarlo Stanton with a 96 MPH fastball to end the inning.
The damage was done, however, and Aroldis Chapman arrived in the top of the ninth to complete the Yankee victory after making it a little bit interesting. Still, the Royals scored more runs today in consecutive games than they have since May 10-11 against Baltimore and Cleveland even despite replacing him with the worst hitter in baseball in the early game and a guy who hasn’t been much better in the nightcap. The Royals will complete the series tomorrow when Burch Smith faces off against J.A. Happ in his Yankee debut.