The Yankees were unable to convert on 11 walks by Kansas City pitchers, leaving 18 runners on base — until RF Clint Frazier‘s with two outs in the eighth inning. 2B Rougned Odor followed with a home run to right-center field, but the Yankees’ ninth inning fell apart with an Aroldis Chapman blown save. C Gary Sanchez, however, tied the game up with a ninth-inning solo shot and the Yankees walked off moments later on an RBI single by 1B Luke Voit for a wild 6-5 win over the Royals at Yankee Stadium.
Six things to know from Wednesday’s game
1. RHP Michael King started and got the Yankees into the fifth with 4 2/3 innings pitched, bouncing back from a shaky opening frame and giving New York a chance to win. Aside from surrendering a two-run home run to Ryan O’Hearn, providing the Royals an early 2-0 lead, King (0-3, 4.05 ERA) battled with two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking three on 72 pitches (44 strikes).
2. Aside from a game-tying two-run double in the fourth inning by Frazier, whose line drive off the bottom of the wall scored DH Giancarlo Stanton and LF Miguel Andujar, the Yankees were unable to truly get going against the Royals’ combined pitching plan. LHP Danny Duffy opened with two no-hit innings, striking out four while walking three, and RHP Kyle Zimmer followed by firing a one-hit third frame to keep the Royals ahead 2-0. Kansas City faltered when RHP Carlos Hernandez walked Stanton and Andujar, with Voit’s strikeout and SS Gleyber Torres‘ flyout in between, and Frazier converted.
3. RHP Chad Green kept the Yankees locked in a 2-2 tie with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, including a bases-loaded fifth-inning jam. After King hit Sebastian Rivero with a pitch, Green stranded the Royals at two outs, getting O’Hearn to fly out. Green (2.39 ERA) was perfect, including one strikeout, firing 20 strikes on 29 pitches.
4. Thanks to three walks by RHPs Josh Staumont and Scott Barlow, the Yankees got served a bases-loaded opportunity in the seventh inning but squandered with a Voit strikeout. Voit, who returned Tuesday from the injured list, struggled Wednesday with an 0-for-4 performance that included three strikeouts to start before he belted his decisive RBI double.
5. LHP Zack Britton followed Green in the eighth and surrendered a go-ahead leadoff home run to Carlos Santana, which gave the Royals a 3-2 lead. But after Britton (2.25 ERA) got through with two hits and two strikeouts, including 12 strikes on 19 pitches, the Yankees finally cashed in.
6. Torres’ leadoff walk in the eighth inning immediately got wiped away by an Andujar double play, but Frazier worked a free pass and Odor made the Royals pay. Chapman was on to close the ninth inning, but after a bases-loaded four-pitch walk against Rivero, the Royals tied a 4-4 score. O’Hearn beat out a slow groundball up the third-base line to LeMahieu and the Royals snatched a 5-4 lead. Sanchez, however, picked up Chapman in the bottom half with a one-out solo shot to the game back at a 5-5 deadlock. Stanton singled down the right-field line, Tyler Wade came on to pinch run and — after advancing to second on a wild pitch — Voit smashed a double off the left-field wall and Wade scored.
The Yankees (39-34) and Royals (33-39) return to Yankee Stadium for a rubber game Thursday at 1:05 p.m. New York RHP Jameson Taillon (1-4, 5.59 ERA) and Kansas City RHP Brad Keller (6-7, 6.34 ERA) are each side’s probable pitchers.