Homers burned the KC Royals on Monday night at Yankees Stadium as the KC Royals dropped game one of a four-game series, 4-2. Kansas City fell to 18-26 on the year.
KC Royals’ left fielder Jorge Bonifacio hit a solo shot in the third inning, homering in his third straight game. The homer was Bonifacio’s fifth of the season. It traveled an estimated 390 feet to left field. Shortstop Alcides Escobar added an RBI double later in the inning, scoring second baseman Whit Merrifield. That was all the runs the Royals could muster off Yankees’ pitching.
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Royals’ starter Jason Vargas went six innings, taking the loss. Vargas allowed three runs, all via the long ball. Yankees’ left fielder Brett Gardner led off the third inning with a solo homer to right-center field. Shortstop di Gregorius added a 2-run shot in the fourth, which would be all the scoring New York would need.
Yankees’ starter Michael Pineda earned the win, throwing 6.1 innings and allowing two runs before being relieved by Adam Warren, who finished off the seventh.
The Royals nearly tied the game at three in the top of the seventh, when right fielder Jorge Soler appeared to score from second after Escobar was called safe on a grounder up the middle. However, the Yankees challenged the call at first base, and Escobar was ruled out on review to end the inning, negating the run.
Yankees’ first baseman Chris Carter provided some insurance with a solo shot of his own in the seventh off of Royals’ reliever Seth Maness. Maness allowed one run in two innings, saving the rest of the KC bullpen.
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Up next: lefty Danny Duffy takes the ball on Tuesday night in game two of the series at 6:05 p.m. CT. He will be opposed by fellow lefty Jordan Montgomery in a rematch of last Wednesday night, when Duffy pitched seven innings of one-run ball to earn the win. The KC Royals will look to even the series and avoid falling even further back in the AL Central race. KC currently sits 6.5 games back of the division-leading Minnesota Twins.