Yankees quiet the Royals offense in a strong 4-2 win in series opener

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees were coming off of their first series loss at home, as the Los Angeles Dodgers took the first two games of that three-game series, but after avoiding the sweep last night, they’d hope to make it two-in-a-row in Kansas City. Carlos Rodon, who has been on a roll as of late, would get the ball against Seth Lugo, who is having an unbelievable start to his 2024 campaign. The Royals have been excellent at home, and MVP candidate Bobby Witt Jr. powers them, but with Juan Soto’s return to the lineup and some excellent pitching, the Bronx Bombers shut them down.

Even without Aaron Judge in the starting lineup (just getting some rest), the Yankees seemingly cruised to a 4-2 win in the series opener at Kauffman Stadium.

Carlos Rodon Shoves, Yankees Win Their Second-Straight

MLB: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals
Denny Medley-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

This ballpark is the same one where Carlos Rodon ended his season on the ugliest note possible, as he allowed eight runs on six hits and two walks without recording a single out to end his disastrous 2023 season. With a 6.85 ERA and an ugly interaction with pitching coach Matt Blake hanging over his head all winter, he would return to Kauffman on a mission to shut the Royals down.

It wasn’t the same pushover offense he faced last year either, this is one of the best lineups in the league at home, and Rodon absolutely dazzled in his seven innings of work. The southpaw walked no one, and while he only struck out three batters, he limited damage contact and only gave up one run in the bottom of the seventh inning. He was efficient, sharp, and crisp against a pesky Royals’ lineup, being the star of the show in tonight’s showdown.

The offense would immediately hand him a 2-0 lead in the first thanks to an RBI single from Alex Verdugo and a sacrifice bunt from DJ LeMahieu, and they gave the left-hander two more runs to work with when Jose Trevino singled in the top of the fourth inning. Ian Hamilton allowed a run in the eighth as the Royals simply wouldn’t go away, but Michael Tonkin picked up his first save of the season as he stepped up for a short-handed bullpen.

With that save, it improved Carlos Rodon’s record over his last seven starts to a perfect 7-0, as he has a 2.28 ERA and 0.85 WHIP over that timespan, but Michael Tonkin deserves a ton of credit here as well. Through his 20.1 innings with the Yankees, he has a 0.89 ERA and has become even more reliable in tight games, as Matt Blake has once again worked his magic on another reliever.

Marcus Stroman goes up against Brady Singer as the two sinkerballers do battle in Kansas City at 8:10 PM EST, as the Yankees hope to make it three in a row.

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