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Eighth inning rally lifts Royals past Yankees, 6-5

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Ryan O’Hearn came up huge in the Bronx.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals showed some teeth on Tuesday night, battling back from an early hole and taking down the Yankees, 6-5.

Brady Singer gave up two home runs in the first two innings. He didn’t get out of the fourth. But the Royals’ offense came alive after falling behind early, and the charge was led by the newly-recalled Ryan O’Hearn.

In the third, Whit Merrifield hit an RBI groundout to bring the Royals within one at 2-1. O’Hearn swatted a line drive home run the next inning, tying the score. It’s his fourth big fly of the year.

The 2-2 tie held until the seventh, when Jake Brentz uncorked a wild pitch that plated a run. With the Yankees up 3-2, I think most of Kansas City assumed that was that, and not too many people assumed that the bats would come alive for a huge comeback.

If you had told me that a 4-5-6-7-8-9 of O’Hearn-Soler-Gutierrez-Dozier-Taylor-Lopez would battle back and take down the Yankees, I would have called you a big fat liar.

The glorious eighth inning, which began with the Royals down 3-2, happened as follows. Whit Merrifield singled. Carlos Santana doubled. Salvador Perez struck out, but Ryan O’Hearn reached on an infield single, tying the score when Merrifield scored. Jarrod Dyson, in for Jorge Soler, reached on a fielder’s choice, putting the Royals up, 4-3. Following a Kelvin Gutierrez strikeout, Hunter Dozier came through with a big-boy single to center, scoring another run. Michael A. Taylor followed that with the exact same thing. Hits with runners in scoring position!

Thanks to that inning, it was a great night for the middle and lower parts of the Royals’ lineup. They jumped on the Yankees bullpen the instant Gerrit Cole left the game after seven excellent innings.

Singer was inefficient, throwing 96 pitches in 3.2 innings of work, but Kris Bubic retired all seven hitters he faced to put out the fire. Jake Brentz allowed a run in the seventh, but he wound up earning the win (2-0). Kyle Zimmer gave up a two-run homer in the eighth to make it 6-5, but Scott Barlow got out of the inning with the lead. Greg Holland, somehow, earned the save by getting out of a jam.

The Royals have won three of four, making them 33-38. They go for the series tomorrow night as Danny Duffy returns from his month-long absence. Game time is at 6:10 pm.