Strong start for Sabathia as Yankees down Royals

Reuters

CC Sabathia allowed an unearned run in five innings and Brett Gardner hit a two-run homer as the New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 6-2 Friday night at Yankee Stadium.

After throwing 62 pitches in his return from cardiac surgery and a knee injury in his season debut last Saturday against the Chicago White, Sabathia (1-0) was stretched out further this time out and delivered an 86-pitch outing.

He worked around four walks and held the Royals to three hits while getting five strikeouts.

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The veteran left-hander picked up his 247th career win, tying him with Bartolo Colon and Jack Quinn for 49th place on the all-time list. He also became the 11th Yankee to get at least 130 victories with the team.

More importantly for the Yankees, Sabathia continued to thrive in the role of stopper. Since the start of the 2017 season, he is 15-1 with 27 regular-season starts following a New York loss and the Yankees are 22-5 in those games.

Gardner provided the Yankees with a 2-1 lead when he blasted 2-0 fastball from Kansas City starter Jakob Junis (1-2) over the right-center field fence in the third.

Mike Tauchman also homered as the Yankees won for the third time in four games despite committing three errors.

Aaron Judge started a two-run sixth with a double and scored on DJ LeMahieu's sacrifice fly that center fielder Billy Hamilton made a diving catch on.

New York scored its fifth run when Kansas City catcher Martin Maldonado committed a passed ball on a walk to Clint Frazier.

The Yankees took a 6-2 lead on a throwing error by Kansas City third baseman Hunter Dozier that allowed Kyle Higashioka to score in the seventh.

The Royals took a 1-0 lead when Sabathia committed a throwing error on a bunt single by Terrence Gore in the third. Kansas City was within 3-2 on Alex Gordon's double down the right-field line four pitches into the sixth but Luis Cessa recorded two strikeouts to end the inning.

In his first appearance in Yankee Stadium since fracturing Judge's right wrist with a fastball July 26, Junis allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.

The Royals lost for the third time in eight games since a 10-game losing streak and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

--Field Level Media

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