NEW YORK — This was not Royals rookie right-hander Brad Keller at his best. Keller struggled finding the strike zone (92 pitches, 51 strikes) and was peppered for nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. Still, Keller left the game with a two-run lead.
The Royals, who led 6-0 at one point, held on for a 10-5 win in Game 1 of a doubleheader Saturday at Yankee Stadium. Brian Goodwin, acquired from the Nationals last Sunday, ripped his first home run as a Royal, a three-run shot in the eighth.
Predictably, Goodwin was in a good mood afterward.
“Of course it felt good,” said Goodwin, who is hitting .462 in four games with his new team. “Came in a big situation. The most important thing is the win.”
Royals manager Ned Yost had watched his team nearly squander a 6-0 lead.
“That was huge,” Yost said. “Opened it up for us and gave us some breathing room.”
Keller, who was helped by three double plays, walked three, struck out one and gave up four runs. He admitted he struggled with command all game.
“Especially early in the count, I didn’t get ahead of guys,” Keller said. “I made some pitches later in the count when I needed to, but I would have liked to have been around the zone a little more.”
The Royals’ offense, meanwhile, had its way against Yankees starter Luis Severino.
Rosell Herrera hit a two-run double in third, giving the Royals a 2-0 lead. Herrera doubled again in the fifth, sending Adalberto Mondesi to third with one out. Salvador Perez followed with a two-run single to center.
Moments later, Lucas Duda chased Severino with a two-run home run to right, his ninth, and the Royals had a 6-0 lead.