Joe Girardi stacked his lineup with righties, trying to gain the platoon advantage against the Royals' left-handed starter Danny Duffy, but the strategy proved to be meaningless as Duffy left the game after one pitch with shoulder soreness. That actually might have been the exact move that the Yankees wanted, however, since Duffy entered the weekend with a 1.87 ERA in his previous 10 starts.
The Yankees took advantage of the Royals relievers, scoring their most runs in a game this month and cruising to a 6-2 win. Mark Teixeira plated the first run of the game in the first inning, with a two-out single that scored Martin Prado from second base. After the Royals tied it up in the top of the third inning, the Yankees answered back in the bottom of the frame with two more runs, thanks to an RBI triple by Jacoby Ellsbury and a sacrifice fly by Derek Jeter.
They added another run in the fourth inning following a rare throwing error by Royals catcher Salvador Perez, who tried to pick off Chase Headley at third base but instead the ball sailed into the outfield, allowing Headley to score easily. The Yankees tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning as Carlos Beltran and Ichiro Suzuki both contributed run-scoring hits to give the Yankees a 6-1 lead.
Brandon McCarthy pitched into the seventh inning, allowing two runs on six hits to earn his sixth win in pinstripes. He pounded the zone, throwing 75 of his 105 pitches for strikes, and pitched well under pressure, holding the Royals to just one hit in six at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Yankees and Royals finish up the series on Sunday afternoon, with first pitch now scheduled for 1:35 pm to accommodate the pregame ceremony honoring Jeter. Be sure to get to the Stadium early if you are lucky enough to have tickets!
Game Notes • Martin Prado continued to swing a hot bat in his return to the lineup, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. He's hitting .403 with four homers and 11 RBI in his last 17 games. Gotta think that Girardi will find him a starting position next position.
• Ichiro had two hits in two at-bats after coming in as pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. It was his first multi-hit game since August 25; he had been in a mini-slump (5-for-23 in his previous 10 games) before Saturday.
• McCarthy has pitched at least six innings in 10 of his 11 starts with the Yankees, and allowed two or fewer runs in eight of those 11 starts. He sure would look nice in those slimming pinstripes next season too.