Royals pitcher Homer Bailey talks about strong outing against Yankees
The Royals waited until the final game of their second road series to win a game away from Kauffman Stadium, but they were quick to add to that total once they broke through.
The Royals followed up their high-intensity extra-inning win in Chicago over the White Sox by controlling their series opener against the New York Yankees from wire to wire. Homer Bailey set the tone by stifling the Yankees’ bats, and the Royals out-bombed the Bronx Bombers on their way to a 6-1 win in front of an announced 39,106 at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night.
Adalberto Mondesi, Ryan O’Hearn and Jorge Soler had two hits apiece for the Royals (7-12), while O’Hearn and Soler each also hit home runs. Mondesi, who hadn’t had a hit on the road all season coming into the night, also drove in a pair of runs. Billy Hamilton scored twice.
“They’re coming off two really big wins for them against Boston, and I knew that kinda coming in,” Bailey said of the Yankees. “They don’t have all their guys right now and yet they’re still a really solid club over there.
“Tonight was a complete Royals win. You saw how great our offense was, as they’ve been doing all year, defense was fantastic. Bullpen came in and really locked it down those last couple of innings. We feel really good as a team right now about these types of wins.”
Bailey (2-1) came into the night having struck out 21 batters over 17 innings (three starts) compared to just six walks during that same span.
In his past two starts (13 innings), he’s now allowed just one run.
The Yankees (8-10) came into the night having out-homered their opponents 30-18 through the first 17 games of the season. Their 30 homers ranked fifth in Major League Baseball through Wednesday’s games.
Bailey kept the ball in the park and kept the Yankees hitters off-balance and flailing helplessly at his split-fingered fastball that seemed to have the bottom drop out of it at precisely the right moment.
“This season, I’ve had a pretty good feel for (the splitter),” Bailey said. “Tonight, it was working. The fastball that we did throw, we were able to locate them really well. Same thing with the sliders. So again, (the idea was) just keep them off-balance and trying to stay aggressive in the zone.”
He finished the outing with six strikeouts and allowed one run on three hits and one walk.
“He didn’t make that many mistakes today with (the fastball),” catcher Martin Maldonado said of Bailey. “When you throw about four pitches for strikes, as a hitter you’re in trouble.”
Meanwhile, the Royals hitters took advantage of the few early mistakes made by Yankees starter Domingo German. German had gotten off to a stellar start to the season. He’d gone 3-0, with one of those wins coming in a relief stint. He’d allowed just two earned runs in 13 innings. The Royals’ offense surpassed that scoring total in four innings.
The Royals started the game off with back-to-back doubles from Mondesi and Alex Gordon. Mondesi’s hit, his first on the road this season after going 0 for 20, came on a ball Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge dived for but couldn’t snag. Gordon followed by lining a pitch from German off the base of the wall in right field to score Mondesi.
The Yankees evened the score on a Gleyber Torres’ sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first, but solo leadoff home runs by Soler in the second and O’Hearn in the third gave the Royals a 3-1 advantage. O’Hearn snapped out of an 0-for-12 funk with the homer.
“We’d seen (German) in person just on video,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “You see his numbers, three hits in 13 innings. Lefties I think had gotten one hit off him and righties had gotten two. … Our hitters did a good job of staying on the ball and putting good swings on the ball.”
With German out of the game after the sixth inning, the Royals tacked two more runs onto their lead in the seventh against reliever Jonathan Holder.
The first two batters of the seventh, Maldonado and Hamilton, each singled, and Whit Merrifield’s line-drive double to left-center field scored Maldonado. Hamilton got sent back to third because the ball bounced over the outfield wall. Hamilton scored one batter later on Mondesi’s sacrifice fly.
With Hamilton on third in the ninth inning, Mondesi again brought him in via a sacrifice fly that gave the Royals their sixth run.
Richard Lovelady and Ian Kennedy combined for three innings of scoreless relief.
“Hit mistakes, that’s it,” O’Hearn said of the Royals’ success against German. “He’s got good stuff, good fastball, good slider, good change-up. So he made some mistakes, and we capitalized. Jorgie with a big home run, Whit big hit, Gordo big hit. Pretty good way to start the series.”