Yankees: Good news and bad news from 5-2 win over Royals

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Jun 3, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees have started off strong in a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, securing two consecutive victories. This comes after a tough series sweep by the Los Angeles Angels. The Royals, having a 28-71 record this season, offered an opportunity for the Yankees to claw back into the playoff picture.

The Yankees are battling to maintain their playoff prospects until their powerful hitter, Aaron Judge, returns from injury, and the management can secure additional offensive players at the trade deadline.

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Cole’s Commanding Performance

Fortunately for the Bombers, starting pitcher Gerrit Cole delivered an impressive performance on Saturday afternoon. Cole dominated the game, striking out 10 batters and allowing only two earned runs across 6.1 innings. He threw 99 pitches with 66 strikes. With a 2.78 ERA this season, Cole is a strong contender for the prestigious Cy Young Award.

Adjusting to Injury Loss

The Yankees suffered a significant loss with starting catcher José Treviño out for the rest of the year. In response, the Yankees have promoted Ben Rortvedt to help fill this gap. Despite this setback, the Yankees managed to secure eight hits in the afternoon, with the top order putting on a stellar performance.

Key Contributions

Billy McKinney had another excellent outing as the leadoff hitter, adding a hit and two walks across two at-bats. He now boasts a .253 batting average and .319 OBP this season. DJ LeMahieu has been improving recently, smashing a solo home run to right field, lifting his average to .232 this season. Heading into the game with a .255 batting average and a .323 OBP, LeMahieu has slightly boosted these numbers.

Looking Ahead for the Yankees

Power hitter Giancarlo Stanton smashed a two-run homer in the eighth inning, driving in McKinney. The Yankees were in dire need of getting back in the win column, and they are taking the necessary strides, even if it’s against a struggling Royals team.

The Yankees currently sit 8 games behind in the AL East and are 2.5 games trailing the Toronto Blue Jays in the Wild Card race. With general manager Brian Cashman known for his tenacity, many anticipate him to buy at the deadline in an attempt to enhance the outfield, adding at least one above-average bat to the lineup.