Gerrit Cole was dominant again and the Yankees’ offense reached the Royals bullpen as they beat Kansas City, 5-2, on Saturday afternoon in the Bronx.
– Cole was on the mound and was stepping into a new backstop for the first time this season. with Jose Trevino out for the season, Ben Rortvedt was in the starting lineup to catch the Yankees’ ace. It didn’t seem to matter to Cole who got the first six batters he faced with three strikes. However, Nick Pratto it would take a 2-2 pitch from Cole deep on the short porch to lead off the third inning.
Cole was undeterred even when he let runners go, no stranger than I expected Bobby Witt Jr. in the fourth. The shot went down the left field line and appeared to be a foul, but when DJ LeMahieu hit that foul, the referee called it fair. Witt, trying to catch the Yankees napping, tried to advance to second, but Cole threw him out.
The Yankee ace would struggle in the fifth. After allowing the first two batters to come after a batter and a walk, Cole would strike out the next two batters. He was one shot away from being out of the ranks, but Michael Garcia‘s single tied the game at 2-2. After being super efficient in the first three innings, Cole’s pitch tally rose to 84 after five.
Cole would settle down, striking out the next four batters before Aaron Boone pulled it back with one in the seventh. Cole went 6.1 innings (99 pitches), giving up two runs on five hits and one walk. He also finished with 10 tackles.
Cole has now allowed two runs or less in 16 of his last 21 starts this season and now leads the majors.
–Anthony Rizzohis struggles continued. In the first with men on first and second and no one out, the first baseman grounded into a double play on the first pitch. Giancarlo Stanton got his teammate on a two-out single up the middle to score Billy McKinney who walked to lead off the game.
Rizzo would hit in his second at-bat, but in his third AB he walked out of the dugout gloveless. The change apparently worked as he received a massive ovation from the Yankee Stadium crowd. In his final at-bat, Rizzo hit a grounder up the middle, but a nice diving play by Witt Jr. stole a single and RBI from the first baseman. He finished 1-for-4.
–Anthony Volpe doubled to lead off the third, his first extra-base hit since July 9 against the Cubs, when he hit a home run. He would steal third and score on a Torres sac fly to put the Yanks up 2-1 at the time.
With the score tied in the sixth, the Yankees had men on first and third with one out. Stanton would go out and Franchi Cordero flied out to center to end the threat.
-McKinney, the hero of Friday’s game, was tasked with leading off today’s game and got on base twice and scored a run. He finished 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base. McKinney started the game in center field for the sick Harrison Bader. While Boone waits for Bader to return to the lineup Sunday, the plus defender stepped in to play center in the eighth inning, moving McKinney to left and Oswaldo Cabrera right. Bader took an at-bat in the eighth, getting a single and stealing a base.
-Royals starter Brady Singer entered Saturday’s game with a 5.70 ERA and was quite dominant against this Yankees lineup. He went six innings, giving up two runs on five hits and one walk. He struck out nine batters and struck out five in a stretch.
However, the Yanks would get the best of the Royals bullpen. LeMahieu led off the seventh with a solo shot to give the Yanks a 3-2 lead. It’s LeMahieu’s eighth home run of the season and first since June 13 against the Mets. Stanton would end the game with a two-out, two-run shot over the left field wall to put the Yanks up 5-2.
-The Yankees’ bullpen Wanda Peralta, Tommy Kahnle AND Clay Holmes combined to get the last eight outs of the game. Holmes would bring the tying run to the plate after giving up a two-out single and a walk, but struck out Drew Waters to pick up his 13th save after a scoreless ninth inning, and has now not allowed a run in 27 of his 30 appearances this season.
What is expected next?
The Yankees conclude their three-game series with the Royals on Sunday afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m.
Louis Severino (1-4, 6.66 ERA) is slated to take the mound for the Yanks. The Royals will ship out Jordan Lyles (1-11, 6.05 ERA).