Eric Hosmer hit the first pitch of the second inning into the seats in right field for his second home run in as many days and Billy Butler had four hits to break a prolonged slump as the Royals overwhelmed the Yankees on Thursday.
The win gives the Royals their first series win in New York since 1999.
Hosmer’s homer in the second was a no-doubt shot that left in a hurry and the Royals seemed inspired by the wunderkind, putting up another five runs in the inning. The Yankees helped them get there, though, committing two errors and giving up a passed ball.
It was enough for Sean O’Sullivan, who remained perfect going into the fifth inning.
The Yankees, being the Yankees, made the comeback everyone expected, starting with a Robinson Cano homer (showing no ill effects of the bean ball from last night’s game) and then putting together three hits and a walk for four more runs. O’Sullivan battled with Derek Jeter but got him out and snuck out of the inning on a fly by Curtis Granderson.
The Royals answered with a run of their own after Butler advanced to third after a wild pitch and ground out to first. Hosmer hit a check swing double down the left field line to drive him in.
A pair of doubles mixed in with some hit batters added two more runs in the eighth.
As a team, the Royals got 16 hits including two homers and six doubles. Six players drove in runs. Everybody scored at least once other than Alcides Escobar.
If they can make it here, they can make it anywhere.
Royals fans felt that this would be a fun team to watch, but few expected wins like this. The walkoff wins were nice, and the Royals had their fair share of lucky breaks to get those, but with last night’s win, where they had just four hits and the pitching staff allowed eight walks, this team shows – dare I say it – grit.
They’re a young team and maybe they don’t understand that they aren’t supposed to be winning. Even the players we weren’t sure should have been brought in – I’m looking at you Jeff Francoeur and Melky Cabrera – have been among the more consistent producers in the lineup. I keep expecting them to fall off, and I’m sure that they will, but until then, they’re bolstering a lineup that looks like it’s for real.
The addition of Hosmer gives the Royals a real threat to go deep every game, and his defense was on display tonight, too. He made a stop on a sharp shot by Granderson in the first and got the out (barely), then made a diving stop behind the bag to get Nick Swisher out. And he also went 3-5, driving in two runs for the second straight night.
The Royals are scoring as it is, but considering that Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, David Lough, Johnny Giavotella and Clint Robinson are a phone call and an afternoon drive away in the event of injury or overwhelmingly strong performance, the Royals won’t be in a spot where they’re stuck with Luis Hernandez or Jason Smith if they have to call someone up.
The Royals move on to Detroit where they try to keep Justin Verlander (3-3, 3.16) from tying Johnny Van Der Meer’s consecutive no-hitter streak. Luke Hochevar (3-3, 4.91) pitches for the Royals. The Royals took the first series in Detroit two games to one. Hochevar threw seven decent innings for a win. Verlander didn’t pitch in that series, so the Royals have a test tomorrow.