The Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City 4-2 on Friday night to give the team a two-game winning streak. Chase Whitley got his first win of his career after pitching seven innings and allowing only two runs. The rookie from Alabama pitched more than five innings for his first time in his short five start career.
Whitley, who now has a very good 2.42 ERA in five starts, was able to keep his pitch count down while not giving up any walks. He actually has only allowed three walks in his 26 innings pitched, and the Yankees are 4-1 in his starts even though he won his first game on Friday. He has really stepped up since the injury to CC Sabathia.
Manager Joe Girardi was impressed by the rookie who finally got his first win after the offense prevented him from getting the win in some of his previous starts. “He has really done it every start,” Girardi said on YES. “He has been really good for us. This is the deepest he has went, but as we have talked about, he has been a reliever most of his career, and I give him a lot of credit. He did a heck of a job again tonight, throwing a lot of strikes, getting some quick innings and outs, he has been impressive.”
After Brian Roberts’s single to center that scored Mark Teixeira in the second, Brian McCann provided all of the offense that the Yankees would need to get the win. His three-run double to left in the third, that drove in Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Teixeira, made the score 4-1 and was his only hit in four at-bats.
This was a good sign for McCann since he had only driven in two runs in his previous nine games. Based on his previous offensive success with the Atlanta Braves, where he was a seven-time All-Star and slugged 20 or more homers seven times, the Yankees are counting on him being a power hitter in the middle of the lineup, with a solid average. He hasn’t done that so far, but his three RBIs could be a sign of more power to come.
Ellsbury, who was 1-5, has a .386 average during the 11-game hitting streak that he is currently on. In those 11 games, he has scored six runs, stolen seven bases and has eight RBIs. The Yankees scored all of their runs off of Jeremy Guthrie, who only allowed one run in 6.2 innings against the Yankees last season.
Dellin Betances pitched the eighth inning and recorded his eighth hold of the season. His two strikeouts improved his season total to 61 in only 36 innings. He has been the team’s best set-up man since David Robertson in 2011, Joba Chamberlain in 2008 and Mariano Rivera in 1996.
Robertson didn’t make it easy for himself as he allowed a walk and a hit in the ninth, but he was able to get out of trouble to record his 14th save of the season with the help of two strikeouts. He was able to get Salvador Perez to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the game. Robertson has rebounded well from allowing five earned runs on June 1 since he hasn’t allowed a run in his last three appearances while picking up two saves.
With the win on Friday the Yankees (31-29) moved from third to second place in the AL East. With a win Saturday night, the Yankees will have their longest winning streak since they won three straight from May 24-26. David Phelps (4.11 ERA), who allowed six runs in his last start, will pitch for the Yankees, and Danny Duffy (3.05 ERA) will get his sixth start of the season.