The Royals piled on nine runs in the first inning off Yankees lefty Carlos Rodón on their way to a 12-5 win over the Yankees on Friday evening. Rodón faced eight hitters and failed to retire any of them before exiting the game. Bobby Witt Jr. also hit his 30th home run, joining the 30/30 club.
Rodón signed a $162 million deal with the Yankees last winter, but this season has been a nightmare as he has missed much of the season with injuries. He came into this game with a 5.74 ERA, which Royals hitters inflated in his last start. Maikel Garcia got the inning started with a single, then Bobby Witt Jr. drew a walk. Salvador Perez laced a low pitch to the left-center gap for a two-run double to put the Royals on the board. Edward Olivares then smoked a pitch 401 feet for his 11th home run of the year to make it 4-0.
Nelson Velázquez singled. Nick Loftin singled. Even Matt Duffy singled, driving home a run. Loftin stole third on Rodón when the pitcher was caught napping, adding salt to the wound. After Rodón walked Logan Porter, he exited the game, but the scoring wasn’t done yet. Kyle Isbel doubled off reliever Matt Bowman to drive home two more. Garcia collected his second hit of the inning to score another run, and Bobby Witt Jr. finally made the first out with a sacrifice fly to score the ninth run of the inning. The Royals would add another run in the third on a Salvador Perez groundout to make it 10-0.
Armed with a nine-run lead, Jordan Lyles retired the first ten hitters he faced. In the fourth, he gave up a three-run home run to rookie catcher Austin Wells. It was the 39th home run allowed by Lyles this year, breaking the single-season club record set by Darrell May in 2004.
Lyles gave up two more in the sixth, ending his night with five runs allowed on four hits in six innings. He ends the season with a 6.28 ERA, the second-highest in Royals history by a qualified pitcher behind Jose Lima’s 6.99 in 2005.
In the seventh, Bobby Witt Jr. blasted a two-run home run, his 30th of the year. He becomes the first player in club history to hit at least 30 home runs and steal at least 30 bases in the same season.
Tucker Davidson, James McArthur, and Jonathan Bowlan combined to throw three shutout innings to preserve the 12-5 win.
The Royals improve to 55-105 and can take the series tomorrow evening at 6:10.