The Yankees beat the Royals 3-1 Tuesday evening in one of the more ho-hum games the team is likely to play all year. After retiring the first eight Yankees he faced, Kyle Davies finally surrendered a triple to Brett Gardner in the bottom of the third, and was subsequently knocked in by Derek Jeter, who continued his hot hitting (.391/.417/.696 over the seven games prior to this contest) with a 2-4 day. If Derek can keep some sort of reasonable approximation of this up (say, .290/.350/.410 or so) I will happily have every negative thing I’ve written about Jeter over the last year shoved back in my face.
The Yankees had several other fairly hard-hit balls against Davies but nothing to show for it until the fifth inning, as Davies loaded the bases ahead of Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod, as you know, hasn’t exactly been swinging the hottest bat of late, and so it was pretty gratifying to see him poke a seeing-eye two-run single that wound up being the decisive hit of the game. KC’s Tim Collins and Blake Wood combined to throw three scoreless near-perfect innings (save one walk), which would have been really frustrating had the Yankees not ended up winning.
For his part, Freddy Garcia had about as Freddy Garcia an outing as it gets, throwing 6+ innings of one-run ball with three strikeouts and two walks, and seemed to get himself into and out of jams for much of the evening. Incidentally, the Royals’ one run came off the bat of Melky Cabrera in the form of a solo shot to dead center – clearly Melky heard me talking smack about him all day yesterday on Twitter. Garcia departed in the 7th with the Yankees clinging to a 3-1 lead and left David Robertson a hairy runners-on-first-and-second-and-no-outs situation, to which D-Rob coaxed a Mike Aviles fly out but then walked should-be-backup catcher Matt Treanor (who inexcusably reached base all three times he came to the plate) to load the bases and give everyone a heart attack. Fortunately D-Rob did the only thing you should do to Alcides Escobar (who has the 6th-lowest wOBA among qualified AL hitters) and struck him out, and then struck out the annoying Chris Getz on a gift checked-swing call from the home plate umpire.
Joba Chamberlain was nails in the 8th, retiring the side on just nine pitches (seven strikes, two strikeouts), and Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth and locked down the save, though not before Jeff Francoeur annoyingly picked up his second hit of the game.
All in all a nice, crisp win, and with Vin Mazzaro — who the Yankees have hit .379/.486/.690 off of over 70 career plate appearances — making his first start of the season for the Royals in place of the apparently injured Bruce Chen, I’d expect the offensive fireworks to come out tonight.
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