Vernon Wells (12) hit the go-ahead two-run home run in tonight’s win bringing home Chris Stewart (19). (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
New York Yankees 3 — Kansas City Royals 2
Vernon Wells would regain the Yankees lead in tonight’s 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals.
The way tonight’s game was going, it seemed starter Andy Pettitte was much more effective than his previous two starts (11 runs allowed in 9.1 innings). An early issue was his inability to hold the slim leads he received tonight. In the third inning, Royals starter James Shields allowed a leadoff double but would get the next two outs. The next batter, Robinson Cano, would hit a grounder to third baseman Mike Moustakas, that should have ended the inning, but an errant throw pulled the first baseman off of the base and allowed the first run of the game to score.
With a one-run lead, Pettitte would allow a leadoff single and a stolen base. A pair of groundouts would erase the lead, tying up the game. Then in the fourth inning, designated hitter Billy Butler put the Royals ahead with a solo home run deep into center field. Fortunately, for Pettitte, Vernon Wells would respond in similar fashion.
James Shields would start the fourth inning, regrettably hitting Chris Stewart with a pitch. He would get the next two outs but Vernon Wells would turn the tide of the game. On a 3-1 pitch, Shields put a fastball right down the middle and Vernon Wells would hit his eighth home run of the season. This two-run home run would put the Yankees ahead by a score of 3-2.
Andy Pettitte would hold onto this lead and put together seven innings. He allowed two runs on five hits with a walk and seven strikeouts. A great start after two very poor starts. Going seven innings, Pettitte did exactly what was expected of him to get the game to a pair of dependable relievers, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera.
David Robertson, the setup man, would take over in the eighth inning. On three pitches, Robertson would strikeout the first batter he faced. On five pitches, Robertson would strikeout the second batter he faced. On four pitches, Robertson strikes out the third batter he faced. Yes, David Robertson struck out the side in dominant fashion, two swinging.
Mariano Rivera, the closer, gets the ninth inning. Rivera would get two groundouts before catcher Salvador Perez hit a double to right field. As the potential game-winning run, third baseman Mike Moustakas put a pair of strong swings on some of Rivera’s signature cutters. One went just foul down the right field line and the last pitch, would be hit to deep left field but Wells would make the out and close the door on the win and Mariano Rivera’s 14th save of the season.
Jayson Nix has been having a great series in Kansas City. In tonight’s game, he walked and got two hits, reaching base three out of his four at-bats. In last night’s game, Nix reached base four times, two hits and two walks while scoring three times.
Win – Andy Pettitte (4-2)
Loss – James Shields (2-3)
Save – Mariano Rivera (14)
*Vernon Wells – 1 for 4, R, 2-Run Home Run (8) in the 5th, 2 RBI (18)
*Chris Nelson – 1 for 4, R, 2B
*Billy Butler – 1 for 4, R, Solo Home Run (4) in the 4th, RBI (20)
*Salvador Perez – 2 for 4, 2B
Current Yankees Record: 22-13
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