Royals Wash Out the Bronx Bombers • Latino Sports

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Royals Wash Out the Bronx Bombers

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Yankee Stadium, the Bronx-  The humidity was overbearing and sticky, and so the clouds descended upon the ballpark in the Bronx for a 59 minute rain delay. Each team came out damp, but the Kansas City Royals went back to their temperature controlled hotels a 5-1 winner over the hometown New York Yankees on Monday night.

Neither team used the weather as an excuse, and certainly the Royals’ pitching was not enhanced by the waiting [which occurred in the fourth inning], but perhaps there was something in the air that guided Kansas City starter Jeremy Guthrie [8-6] to his eighth win of the season.

“Tremendous competitor,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said of Guthrie. “He showed it today — to endure an hour rain delay and go out and throw at the level that he threw.”

Not going up against the strongest of Yankee lineups [ Travis Ishikawa (1B), Luis Cruz (SS), Alberto Gonzalez (3B),  and Austin Romine (C) batted 6-9 in the lineup] Guthrie was nevertheless strong in his outing, as he yielded just one run, a homer to pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay, while going going 6.2 innings for six hits and three strikeouts in the victory.

“Not an easy lineup to pitch, too,” said Guthrie. “Obviously they have their injuries now and are missing a lot of keys so you go out there and try to attack them as best as you can.”

Overbay, who came in for the newly signed Ishikawa in the bottom of the seventh inning, ripped a 2-1 offering by Guthrie for his third career pinch-hit home run into right-field to bring the Yankees within two runs, at 3-1.

The Yankees continued their offensive threat in the seventh after Cruz and pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki hit consecutive singles, moving Cruz to third base. Guthrie’s night, with a two-run lead in the seventh was now over, and relief pitcher Tim Collins struck out pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez to end the inning.

Kansas City put the game away in the top of the ninth inning, adding two runs on the strength of an Alex Gordon RBI-double, followed by an Alcides Escobar RBI-triple that gave the Royals a 5-1 lead.

After substitute pitcher Luke Hochevar placed runners on first and second with nobody out, the Royals trotted out closer Greg Holland who shut the Yankees down to earn his 21st save of the season.

“Holly’s [Greg Holland] been lights out for us,” Yost said.

The Yankees never led, and initially trailed 2-0 after two innings. Kansas City’s Billy Butler, a 2012 Silver Slugger recipient lead-off the top of the inning by taking Yankees’ starter Phil Hughes’ [4-8] four-seam fastball into the first row behind the right-field wall to give the Royals a 1-0 lead on his seventh homer of the season. Kansas City doubled their advantage to 2-0 on a two-out RBI-double [15] into right-field by right-fielder David Lough, as Mike Moustakas came home to score from second base.

“It’s been tough every year I’ve been here to come in and get a win,” Butler said. “It means a lot.”

Hughes has now lost six of his last eight starts, surrendering two earned runs in four innings off four hits, snapping a personal five-game win streak  against KC dating back to 2010.

“It’s tough. I felt like I really found something,” said Hughes on not being able to go back into the game after the rain delay. “In the third and fourth innings I felt pretty good, but that’s baseball.”

Having previously won a season-high six in a row, the Yankees [48-41] have now dropped their last two games and sit in fourth place in the American League East.

Notes: With his strikeout in the ninth inning, Yankees’ center-fielder Brett Gardner set a new franchise record with at least one strikeout as a batter in 16 consecutive games…

About Oren Vourman

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