KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Yankees have spent the last few weeks in the two worst teams in the US league – and they have taken advantage of the benefits provided by the charts.
On Saturday, they swept a split doubleheader against Royals, winning the first game 7-3 and nightcap 6-5 at Kauffman Stadium. The victories gave the Yankees a season-high seven-game winning knit.
So while their AL East enemies enter water with the Red Sox towards Astros and Tampa Bay playing Cleveland, the Yanks have taken command of the Division on Memorial Day weekend with 11 wins in their last 12 games.
And if they allowed a game-binding three-run homer that JA Happ did in the opening or played scary defense as they did in the second game, it hardly seemed to be against another brave opponent.
Happ was masterful for five innings in the first game before Kansas City's Whit Merrifield hit three
Despite the battle, the Yankees remained confident that they would still find a way to win.
"One hundred percent," said Luke Voit. "It doesn't matter if I hit or Gary [Sanchez] Gleyber [Torres] who. I want someone to hit a home or drive in a big hit."
Voit answered Merrifield's homer with a 470 foot blast for a two-run homer in the seventh. The home race was followed by Thairo Estrada's two-round double in the eighth, as they continue to celebrate in horrible competition.
The crime helped make a winner out of Happ, who came out of his worst season start when he allowed six runs in just 3 ² / ¾ innings to Orioles.
Against Royals, he just allowed a bloop single to Merrifield in the first before retirement 15 in a row. In six innings, he beat 10 and did not lie.
He fell into the sixth when Billy Hamilton reached a bundle hit and Nicky Lopez was divorced to the left before Merrifield took him deep.
"I am responsible for it," Happ said. "I was the one who threw it. A bundle, a blow through the hole, and I threw a ball on the shoulders and he knocked it out. It's on me and I accept it, but as far as I was throwing the ball, I felt I was driving better than the results. & # 39; & # 39;
In the night chamber, Chad Green who opened up to another straight look and again served the results less than ideal when he gave a run in the first.
Green was lucky, it wasn't worse. Hunter Dozier hit a RBI double on the right. Clint Frazier pigeon for the ball and restored in the time to
make a strong throw home where he got a diving Alex Gordon to finish the entrance.
The Yankees reacted in the second with five runs off Jorge Lopez, with a two-run single from Austin Romine followed by a two-run double by Cameron Maybin – and some nasty Kansas City defense blended in. Lopez was knocked out before he registered one in the other.
Chance Adams, named from Triple-A Scranton / Wilkes-Barre as the 26th man for the second game, entered the other and gave up three races in four innings – betrayed by his away defense.
Royals scored a race in third after Gardner dropped Adalberto Mondesi flying the ball to the center, so Merrifield can get around from the first time.
After Terrance Gore, the Yanks robbed a race at the top of the fourth with a fantastic capture of Kendrys Morales' flying to the deep center, Gardner and Frazier had more misadventures at the bottom of the inning, c osting yankees another race. Gardner lost what should have been a routine flying ball of Dozier, and it fell to a double. Jorge Soler followed with a fly ball to the right corner and Frazier couldn't get to it and scored Dozier. Cam Gallagher designated right to make it 6-4.
Jonathan Holder, Tommy Kahnle and Zack Britton beat scoreless innings, Aroldis Chapman walked Hamilton, who was screeching and then threw the ball away trying to pick him up. Hamilton advanced to third.
Hamilton scored on Gallagher's sacrifice fly and Chapman got Gore to finish it.