Jun 8, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields (33) delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees during the first inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

James Shields Shuts Down Yankees

Starter James Shields pitched six innings while only giving up 1 unearned run to help Kansas City squeeze out a 2-1 win over the Yankees in Kauffman Stadium Sunday afternoon.

Shields stranded 7 Yankee base-runners, including 5 in the first two innings, as he worked out of jam after jam to hold the Yankees to 1 run. Shields piled up 49 pitches in the first two innings and still managed to last six to earn his 7th win of the season (7-3).

The Royals staked James Shields to an early 2-0 lead when they bunched four consecutive hits with two out in the bottom of the second.

That’s all the runs the Royals pitching staff needed. The only run scored when the Yankees finally got to Shields in the 6th for a sacrifice fly. The run scored only with he help of a passed ball by Salvador Perez that allowed 3B Yangervis Solarte to advance to 3rd with 1 out.

The victory pulls the Royals within one game of .500 at 31-32 on the season. Kansas City is now 4 games behind Detroit in the American League Central and they have moved into 3rd place in the division.

On the Mound

James Shields was effective, but not really dominant. Shields went 6.0 innings, allowing 6 hits, 2 walks, 1 unearned run while striking out 8. Shields allowed 3 doubles but still managed to get outs when he needed them to hold a narrow lead.

Aaron Crow pitched a scoreless 7th inning despite allowing a 1-out triple to Brett Gardner. Crow saved the lead when he smartly backed up third base. The relay to 3rd came in high and Crow prevented Gardner from advancing by snagging the errant throw.

Wade Davis pitched a clean 8th inning with 2 strikeouts. Davis has now pitched 19 consecutive innings without allowing a run.

Greg Holland allowed a leadoff single to Ichiro Suzuki, but still nailed down his 18th save of the season.

At the Plate

The entire story for the Royals at the plate came in the bottom of the second when they scored two runs off Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda with two-out rally.

Lorenzo Cain doubled to deep right to drive in Salvador Perez from 1st base. Cain went 1-3 on the day, with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. Cain also hit two other line drives, but one was speared by a leaping Kuroda in the bottom of the 4th and 2B Brian Roberts gloved the second in the bottom of the 7th.

Mike Moustakas blooped a single following Cain’s double to drive in the Royals second run. Moustakas went 1-3, with 1 RBI on the day.

Omar Infante broke a 0-19 slump with a single in bottom of the third but got caught stealing by Yankee catcher Brian McCann.

Overall, the Royal only managed 5 hits and 2 walks on the day.

This and That

Despite allowing the only run to score aided by a passed ball by Salvador Perez in the 6th, the Royals defense helped out James Shields early in the game. Alcides Escobar saved a hit in the 1st inning with an outstanding stop on a Derek Jeter grounder. The play helped Shields escape without allowing a run depite two hits in the inning.

Eric Hosmer‘s smart throw home nailed Yangervis Solarte at home plate for the 2nd out of the 1st inning. Most 1st basemen would  hohave taken the sure out at first early in the game (2nd inning). Hosmer’s decision allowed the Royals to make 2 runs stand up for a win.

The win also pulled the Royals even at home on the season at 16-16.

KC Kingdom Player of the Game

Our nod goes to James Shields for his 6 innings without allowing an earned run. The outing reversed two consecutive tough starts for Shields in which he gave up 7 earned runs but was bailed out by the Royals offense producing 8 scores.

I do also want to give a shout out to Aaron Crow for wiggling out of the 7th without allowing a run. Not only did he back up 3rd on Gardner’s triple, he followed up by getting Derek Jeter to hit a weak grounder to short with the infield pulled in that could not advance Gardner. Crow then finished off the inning by getting Jacoby Ellsbury on a called third strike.

 

The Yankees

Yankee starter Hiroki Kuroda did not allow a Royals base-runner after Alex Gordon walked in the top of the 4th inning. He ended up the tough-luck loser despite a solid 7-inning outing while allowing 5 hits , 2 walks, and 2 earned runs.

Up Next

The Royals and Yankees finish the 4-game set at Kauffman Stadium on Monday. The game will be Derek Jeter’s last appearance in Kansas City before he retires at the end of the season. The Yankee captain has been the best clutch hitter of his generation. The Royals will send Jason Vargas (5-2, 3.28) to the mound against Vidal Nuno (1-2, 5.33 ERA) for New York. Game time is 7:10 CST at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Box

Yankees Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Brett Gardner LF 5 0 2 0 0 1 .279 .734
Derek Jeter SS 4 0 0 0 0 1 .254 .612
Jacoby Ellsbury CF 4 0 1 0 0 1 .287 .761
Carlos Beltran DH 3 0 0 0 1 2 .218 .672
Brian McCann C 4 0 0 0 0 2 .225 .647
Yangervis Solarte 3B 4 1 2 0 0 1 .299 .826
Ichiro Suzuki RF 4 0 2 1 0 1 .320 .736
Brian Roberts 2B 3 0 1 0 1 1 .239 .667
Kelly Johnson 1B 3 0 0 0 0 2 .216 .671
   Mark Teixeira PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 .238 .826
Team Totals 35 1 8 1 2 12 .229 .642

2B: J Ellsbury (15, off J Shields); B Roberts (8, off J Shields); Y Solarte (14, off J Shields).
3B: B Gardner (4, off A Crow).
TB: B Gardner 4; Y Solarte 3; B Roberts 2; I Suzuki 2; J Ellsbury 2.
RBI: I Suzuki (8).
Team LOB: 9.
With RISP: 1 for 17.
Fielding
DP: 3. B McCann-D Jeter; B Roberts-D Jeter-K Johnson; D Jeter-B Roberts-K Johnson.

Royals Batting AB R H RBI BB SO BA OPS
Nori Aoki RF 2 0 0 0 1 0 .256 .629
   Jarrod Dyson CF 1 0 0 0 0 0 .271 .638
Omar Infante 2B 3 0 1 0 0 0 .230 .610
Eric Hosmer 1B 3 0 0 0 0 1 .256 .652
Billy Butler DH 3 0 0 0 0 1 .249 .616
Alex Gordon LF 2 0 0 0 1 1 .288 .822
Salvador Perez C 3 1 1 0 0 0 .271 .748
Lorenzo Cain CF-RF 3 1 1 1 0 0 .331 .811
Mike Moustakas 3B 3 0 1 1 0 0 .151 .518
Alcides Escobar SS 3 0 1 0 0 0 .277 .706
Team Totals 26 2 5 2 2 3 .192 .481

2B: L Cain (8, off H Kuroda).
TB: L Cain 2; S Perez; O Infante; M Moustakas; A Escobar.
GIDP: E Hosmer (8); S Perez (13).
RBI: M Moustakas (20); L Cain (24).
2-out RBI: L Cain; M Moustakas.
Team LOB: 2.
With RISP: 1 for 2.
Fielding
PB: S Perez (2).
Baserunning
CS: O Infante (1, 2nd base by H Kuroda/B McCann).

Yankees Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
Hiroki Kuroda, L (4-4) 7 5 2 2 2 3 0 4.12 90 56
Adam Warren 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.38 5 4
Team Totals 8 5 2 2 2 3 0 2.25 95 60
Royals Pitching IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Pit Str
James Shields, W (7-3) 6 6 1 0 2 8 0 3.44 110 67
Aaron Crow, H (6) 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 2.60 18 12
Wade Davis, H (10) 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 1.27 17 13
Greg Holland, S (18) 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.46 18 13
Team Totals 9 8 1 0 2 12 0 0.00 163 105

Balks: None.
WP: J Shields (3); G Holland (5).
HBP: None.
IBB: None.
Pickoffs: None.

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Tags: Aaron Crow James Shields Kansas City Royals

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