Yankees-Royals Preview

Field Level Media

Following heavy rains in the Kansas City area that caused a rainout Friday night, the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals will play a day-night double-header Saturday. The first game will start at 2:15 p.m. ET, with the second starting at 7:15 p.m. ET. Fans holding tickets for Friday's game may use them for admission to Saturday's second game. The stadium will be cleared between games.

It will be the second straight time the Royals will play two games because of weather. The Royals and Cardinals played a twin-bill on Wednesday after rain and severe storms in the St. Louis area caused Tuesday's game to be postponed.

Right-hander Jakob Junis (3-5, 5.69 ERA), who was Friday's scheduled starter, will pitch the afternoon game on Saturday, and right-hander Jorge Lopez (0-5, 6.04 ERA) will start the night game. Left-hander Danny Duffy (3-1, 3.45), scheduled to start on Saturday before the postponement, has been bumped to Sunday.

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Junis is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA against the Yankees in 2019, 1-3 with a 6.43 ERA in his career. Lopez is 0-0 with a 5.14 ERA this season, with this season being the only time he's faced the Yankees. He gave up five runs, four earned, on eight hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out six.

For the Yankees, left-hander J.A. Happ (3-3, 5.16) takes the mound in the opener Saturday, while the nightcap's starter is still to be determined. Righty Domingo German (9-1, 2.60) will pitch on Sunday, as originally scheduled.

Happ is 4-3 with a 4.13 ERA lifetime against the Royals, who will see him for the first time in 2019.

If they do get to play Saturday, the Yankees will be looking to continue their hot pace, while the Royals will be looking to win a series for the first time since April 12-14.

The Yankees have won five straight, and nine out of 10, with their 6-5 victory at Baltimore on Thursday. Aaron Hicks walked with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth to push across the winning run. The Yankees led 5-1 entering the bottom of the eighth, but Renato Nunez hit a three-run home run off Tommy Kahnle to tie the score.

The Yankees are now 15-5 in the month of May and 32-17 for the season, best in the American League East. They've done this with an All-Star team on the injured list.

The latest addition to the IL is starting pitcher C.C. Sabathia, who was placed on the 10-day IL Thursday with right knee inflammation. His spot in the rotation likely will be filled by a committee from the bullpen.

"It'll kind of come down to usage," New York manager Aaron Boone said of possible replacements. "We've got guys on the roster now that can give us length. It'll be depending on what we did the day before and what we've needed leading up to it. We'll just kind of mix and match with what we have."

Junis is coming off his longest outing of the season after going seven innings at the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. He gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits with six strikeouts against the Angels.

"I was commanding my fastball to both sides of the plate," Junis said. "I felt like I was in a groove. Right where Maldy (Martin Maldonado) was setting up, I was throwing it in there. Walks are going to happen. As long as you can limit them to one or two a game, usually it's not going too bad. I never want five like I did last time."

Prior to the Angels series, the Royals had gone four straight series with a rubber game giving them a chance to win the series. Counting the loss in the second game of the double-header to the Cardinals, that's five straight missed opportunities to claim a series win.

--Field Level Media

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