The Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Tuesday to extend their winning streak to two games. They have two consecutive wins against the Royals, who are in first place in the AL Central with a 28-17 record, after previously being swept at home by the Texas Rangers, who had an 18-23 record before their three-game series (they are now 23-23).
Adam Warren only allowed one run on two hits in his 6.1 innings pitched. Joe Girardi took him out after only throwing 88 pitches. He threw an impressive 62 of his 88 pitches for strikes and this time Girardi’s decision to go to the bullpen when the starter was still pitching well worked. Warren had five strikeouts, including the dangerous Eric Hosmer twice, and retired the side in order in the first, second, third and fifth innings.
“Warren is pitching as well as anyone in our rotation right now,” Girard said after the game. His ERA is now down to a respectable 3.91 and he has been one of the best pitchers in the American League over his last three starts. In his last three starts, Warren has pitched 19.2 innings while only allowing six runs and striking out 16 batters. He deserves to stay in the rotation instead of Chris Capuano when Masahiro Tanaka comes off of the disabled list.
Girardi didn’t say that Warren will definitely remain in the rotation when Tanaka is ready to come off of the disabled list, but he did say that there is a possibility of him doing so.
“I think you see where you’re at as a ballclub and what your needs are,” Girardi said. Girardi doesn’t like to commit to anything ahead of time, but he will probably go with Warren because he will give the team a better chance to win than Capuano (7.36 ERA in two starts).
Carlos Beltran extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his single to left in the fourth inning. He is proving that he does have something left offensively after not doing anything the first month of the season. Beltran can’t field like he used to because he can’t run, which makes it necessary to put a back-up outfielder in the game for him in about the seventh inning.
Mark Teixeira was the offensive star of the game for the Yankees as he was 2-4 with two runs scored and four RBIs. He hit a two-run homer in the first inning that scored Alex Rodriguez and then hit a double to right center that scored Rodriguez and Chris Young in the fifth inning. This was Teixeira’s second four RBI game of the season. He is fully healthy this season as he has 14 homers and 35 RBIs already after hitting 22 homers and driving in 62 runs all of last season.
Dellin Betances pitched the eighth inning and struck out all three batters that he faced. Betances got Salvador Perez, Omar Infante and Paulo Orlando all to strike out swinging. Betances is pitching like the All-Star he was last season and has remarkably retired the last 28 batters that he has faced. After perfect inning on Tuesday, he had 38 strikeouts and 25 innings pitched and had not allowed a singled earned run.
Their win over the Royals gave the Yankees a 24-22 record and a half a game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the mediocre American League East.