Yankees looking to get to .500 as Royals hit town

Field Level Media

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone described his team's performance against the Boston Red Sox as two really strong games.

After sweeping their biggest rival, the Yankees get a chance at their second three-game winning streak of the season Thursday night when they host the Kansas City Royals in the opener of a four-game series.

The Yankees will be attempting to get to the .500 mark at 9-9 after getting an 8-0 win on Tuesday and following it up with a 5-3 win Wednesday. The Yankees have spent two days over .500 this season, after winning their season opener on March 28, and following a 15-3 romp at Baltimore on April 7.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

The Yankees then followed it up by dropping five of six to the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox.

But after Brett Gardner hit a grand slam Wednesday in the seventh inning and Clint Frazier had three hits, including an RBI double, Boone is hoping to get on a roll similar to what the Yankees did last season after splitting their first 18 games.

"Anytime they come in, you know what they're capable of," Boone said of the Red Sox. "You know you got to play well to beat them and I thought we played two really strong games against them."

The Yankees will be playing their 13th game against an opponent who lost at least 98 games last season and so far they are 6-6 in those games.

The Royals lost 104 games last season and are off to a 6-12 start. They head to New York with four wins in their last six games following a 10-game losing streak from Mach 31-April 11.

Kansas City snapped its skid by sweeping the Cleveland Indians last weekend and followed it up by dropping two of three in Chicago to the White Sox.

The Royals averted a sweep in Chicago with a 4-3 win Wednesday afternoon when Hunter Dozier hit the tiebreaking homer in the 10th inning.

Dozier's homer capped a testy game that featured ejections of starting pitcher Brad Keller and bench coach Dale Sveum after White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson was hit by a pitch.

Dozier's homer continued a hot streak that has seen him bat (.405) in his last 10 games.

Whit Merrifield will likely be back in the starting lineup after getting Wednesday off. Merrifield had a pinch-hit single Wednesday and is batting .319 (51-for-160) while hitting safely in 36 of his last 38 games since Sept. 10.

Domingo German will make his third start and fourth overall appearance for the Yankees. He earned the win in relief of C.C. Sabathia on Saturday in a 4-0 victory over the White Sox when he struck out four and pitched two hitless innings.

German's last start was in a 15-3 win at Baltimore on April 7 when he allowed two runs on two hits in six innings. He has never faced the Royals.

Homer Bailey (1-1, 5.29 ERA) makes his fourth start for the Royals, who signed him as a free agent after he was 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA in 20 starts for the Reds last season.

Bailey is hoping to repeat what he did on Saturday when he allowed two hits, struck out six and threw 102 pitches in seven strong innings during a 3-0 win over Cleveland, marking his first scoreless outing since Sept. 27, 2017 against Milwaukee.

"That's the best he has looked," Kansas City catcher Martin Maldonado said. "He was confident coming out of the bullpen right from the start. He never got into any high-leverage situations. He was in control."

Bailey is 1-1 with a 5.84 ERA in two career starts against the Yankees and both of those outings occurred in New York.

--Field Level Media

What to Read Next