The Yankees continued to search for their first hit through the early innings. Cabrera homered at the start of the fourth and Gordon followed with a double. A single by Butler put the Royals up 8-0 and Nova’s night was over. Amaury Sanit, called up just this afternoon, made his major league debut. He struck out Francoeur before giving up a single to the hot hitting Hosmer. Sanit shook it off and got Betemit and Treanor down in order, but the Yankees’ offense had a lot of work to do.
After four innings the Yankees were still hitless, but they finally got to work in the bottom of the fifth. Cano homered to right and Nick Swisher followed with a double. Brett Gardner singled, moving Swisher to third. Eduardo Nunez worked a walk to load the bases, and Cervelli doubled to left, plating two runs for the Bronx Bombers. A sac fly from Derek Jeter scored Nunez and the Yankees had cut the Royals’ lead in half, as the score sat at 8-4.
Sanit gave up a one out single to Butler in the sixth. He got Francoeur to ground out to first, moving Butler to third. Hosmer connected on a check swing, and the ball stayed fair down the left field line. Seriously, this kid is so hot right now he gets RBI extra base hits when he isn’t even trying. Sanit intentionally walked Betemit and then another passed ball moved them each over. Treanor walked, loading the bases, but Sanit got Alcides Escobar to ground out, ending the inning with the Royals hanging onto a 9-5 lead.
In the top of the eighth, Sanit was still on the mound. He hit Francoeur with a pitch and gave up a two-out ground-rule double to Betemit. Sanit then hit Treanor with a pitch and Buddy Carlyle came in to the game. He immediately gave up a two-run double to Escobar and the Yankees were down 11-4. A solo homer by Alex Rodriguez gave the Yankees another run in the bottom of the eighth, but that was all the fight the Yankees seemed to have in them, as they took an 11-5 loss to Kansas City.
Bronx Cheers: Ivan Nova: It was not all his fault, errors and passed balls seemed to plague the Yankees’ defense, but Nova was not good Thursday night. He lasted just three innings and gave up eight runs (only four were earned) on ten hits. He gave up two homers and two walks, while striking out just two hitters.
Curtis Granderson: Grandy was 0-4 and left three runners on base. He did make a great diving catch in center early on, however.
Francisco Cervelli’s defense: Cervelli had one of those Jekyll and Hyde kind of games. He did his job at the plate, but he was part of the problem in the field. A throwing error and two passed balls made for an ugly game behind the dish, and did little to help the Yankees keep the Royals close.
Francisco Cervelli at the plate: While Cervelli may not have had his best game behind the plate, he did a solid job at it. He went 1-3 with a walk and two RBIs.
Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez: Both had homers and went 1-4. Cano, however, had a throwing error that cost the Yankees some runs.
Amaury Sanit: I debated this one, and almost created an Honorable Mention category just for him, but I am giving Sanit a Curtain Call tonight. Partly, it is because I didn’t see many notable performances from the Yankees today, but mostly it is because I was impressed with how Sanit handled getting called up today and thrown right into a tough situation. He gave them four solid innings of relief work before falling apart in the eighth and having Carlyle give up a couple inherited runs. Sanit went 4.2 innings and gave up three runs on four hits. He struck out two hitters and walked two. It was clear he was done in the eighth, however, when he hit two batters and loaded the bases. Still, it was not a bad outing for his major league debut.
In The On Deck Circle: New York will try to put this ugly series behind them as they invite their bitter rivals to the Stadium. The Red Sox will send Clay Buchholz to the mound. He is coming off his best start this season, though it lasted only five innings due to rain. Buchholz struck out six and gave up just two hits. He has not fared particularly well against the Yankees. In 31.2 innings of work he is 1-3 with a 6.25 ERA. The Yankees have Bartolo Colon set to start on Friday. He is coming off his first really ugly game of the season, and could use a strong start to quell (or continue to stir up?) the controversy surrounding his stem cell procedure. Colon lasted just 4.1 innings in Texas, giving up five runs. Earlier this season, the veteran hurler threw 4.1 innings of relief against the Red Sox, giving up just one earned run. The rivalry resumes at 7:05pm in the Bronx.