YANKEES (34-17) AT ROYALS (17-34)
2:15 p.m. ET; FSKC, YES, MLB.TV
Even when things are going well, the Kansas City Royals struggle with the New York Yankees.
But when things aren’t going well, well, that is reflected in the 2019 Royals’ 1-5 record against the Yankees. They’ll get one final chance on Sunday after being swept in a double-header Saturday.
Danny Duffy (3-1, 3.45 ERA) gets the nod for the Royals against Domingo German (9-1, 2.60 ERA). Duffy has won his last three decisions. German has won his last six decisions and has gotten the decision in all 10 starts.
Duffy is 3-3 with a 5.54 ERA in 10 career appearances (eight starts) against the Yankees. German has lost just his only career appearance against the Royals, allowing three runs on six hits in six innings of 6-1 defeat on April 18. That was his only setback of the season and New York’s only loss to Kansas City this year.
Since 2000, the Yankees have won 16 season series, with three splits and just one Royals series win (2014). The Yankees are 100-43 in that span against Kansas City, including winning 23 of their last 30 against the Royals.
The Royals have struggled against more than the Yankees in 2019. They have not won a series since April 12-14, when they swept the Cleveland Indians. For the season, they have split two series, lost 13 and won only two (against Cleveland in mid-April, and the season-opening series against the White Sox).
Saturday was frustrating for manager Ned Yost and the Royals. After falling behind 3-0 in the first game, the Royals tied it in the sixth inning on a three-run home run by Whit Merrifield. But Luke Voit untied it quickly with a 470-foot blast in the top of the seventh.
In the nightcap, the Royals scored a run in the first, then allowed the Yankees to take a 6-1 lead. The Royals kept chipping away, but fell a run short, losing 6-5. They scored a run off closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth.
“They gave us a chance to crawl back in,” Yost said after the second game. “We battled back a little bit. The offense kept getting after it. But they’ve got a pretty good bullpen over there.”
While the Royals are looking for anything positive against the Bronx Bombers, the Yankees will be looking to continue their hot pace. They have won seven straight games, and 11 out of 12. The Yankees are now 17-5 in the month of May. At 34-17, they are a game behind Minnesota (tied with Houston) for the best record in baseball. They’ve done this with an All-Star team on the injured list.
The Yankees had three two-run hits in the first game, including Voit’s home run. Cameron Maybin drove in three runs and Austin Romine was 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the nightcap.
“He’s brought so much to the table for us,” manager Aaron Boone said of Voit. “Obviously between the lines, he’s been really good. He’s loved coming here and being a Yankee. They love him in that room. He brings something to the park every day, just from an energy standpoint. We’re lucky to have him.”
With three prominent starting pitchers on the injured list, the Yankees have relied heavily on their bullpen. At the end of that pen, Chapman has converted 14 of 15 save opportunities, including getting his 250th of his career Saturday. He allowed an unearned run, and he now has a 1.74 ERA (four earned runs in 20 2/3 innings).
–Field Level Media