The Yankees are now on a four-game losing streak after their 12-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Friday night. They didn’t perform well on offense or defense in the series opener against the Royals.
Michael Pineda struggled mightily for the first time this season as he allowed five earned runs on 10 hits after allowing four earned runs in his previous four starts combined. His slider was not working like it did in his last start, which led to him only striking out one compared to the 16 strikeouts he had in his previous start.
He was charged with three earned runs in the sixth inning. He allowed a double to Alex Gordon, an RBI triple to Omar Infante and an RBI single to 29-year-old rookie Paulo Orlando. Pineda’s final earned run came later in the inning when Orlando scored.
It is tough to have success when one of your main pitches isn’t working, and Pineda realized that these types of performances will happen during the course of the season.“It’s not my day,” Pineda said. “These games happen sometimes.”
The Royals were led by Lorenzo Cain, who was 3-4 with five RBIs against the Yankees. He now has 19 RBIs after having 53 all of last season. Kendrys Morales was the other offensive star for the Royals as he was 2-5 with three RBIs. Morales’s double to deep center off of Jose Ramirez in the seventh scored Cain and Eric Hosmer and gave the Royals a 12-1 lead.
Chris Young, who is 6-10 and 35 years old, lowered his ERA to an outstanding 0.94. He only allowed one run and four hits in 5.2 innings pitched. Brett Gardner tripled to right center in the first, but Young was able to bounce back and get Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to fly out to end the inning. The Yankees would end the game going 1-5 with runners in scoring position and leave six runners on base.
The only run that the Yankees scored came in the fourth inning when they had an opportunity to put a few runs on the scoreboard. Rodriguez doubled to leadoff the inning and then Teixeira hit an infield single but the side was retired in order after that. Brian McCann hit a sac fly to score A-Rod, but the next two batters flied out and struck out.
Offensive ineptitude has led to the Yankees losing the last three games of the series to Tampa Bay and this game to the Royals. They have only scored six runs in their last four games, which makes it hard to win games. They have not been able to hit with runners in scoring position and they haven’t hit homers like they did before the losing streak.
They will need to do better offensively to even their series with the Royals. Didi Gregorius has tonight’s game off, which could help the offense as he is hitting only .167 in his last seven days. Jose Pirela, who is back in the lineup playing second, has hit well since coming off of the disabled list (.278). However, the Yankees need Stephen Drew, the normal second baseman, to improve soon as he is hitting .143 with zero homers or RBIs in his last seven days and his average is now all the way down to .171.
CC Sabathia will get the start on Saturday night. He will look to pitch seven innings like he did in his last start. He allowed three runs on six hits (and two walks) while recording a season-high nine strikeouts against the Rays. He got his first win in his last start and even though he has a 5.20 ERA he has pitched better than his won loss record (1-5) or ERA indicates. His stuff and velocity are both better than they were the past two seasons.
Saturday’s game at Kauffman Stadium begins at 7:05 p.m. EST.