NEW YORK — The Royals didn’t bring a barrage of power to the Bronx in their series opener against the Yankees on Tuesday night. But fundamental baseball worked just as well.
The Royals’ four-run eighth inning pushed them to a 6-5 win at Yankee Stadium, giving them back-to-back wins for the first time since June 3-4 against Minnesota.
Kansas City managed just three hits and two runs off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in seven innings, but after the Yankees took the lead against reliever Jake Brentz in the seventh, the Royals capitalized on right-hander Jonathan Loaisiga, the Yankees’ defensive positioning and a Superman-like slide from Carlos Santana.
Whit Merrifield led off the eighth with a single, followed by Santana’s double. Then Merrifield scored the tying run on Ryan O’Hearn’s infield chopper — his second hit of the night, following a solo home run in the fourth — that second baseman Tyler Wade couldn’t field and throw cleanly in time for an out. On Jarrod Dyson’s short chopper to Wade, Santana made a near perfect slide at home to beat the tag and give the Royals the lead.
Hunter Dozier and Michael A. Taylor both knocked singles up the middle to score two more insurance runs — which the Royals would need every bit of when DJ LeMahieu launched a two-run homer off Kyle Zimmer to make it a one-run game in the eighth.
Greg Holland worked around a one-out bloop single by Gio Urshela and an intentional walk to Gary Sánchez in the ninth to pick up his fifth save of the year.