The Kansas City Royals avoided a winning streak on Sunday with an 8-6 away win against the New York Yankees, with a couple of late home runs turning the tide.
Both starting pitchers finished with mediocre figures, but were both spotless at the start, keeping the goalless game in the first four innings. The fifth inning was a different story, with the teams combining for seven runs.
The Royals struck first when Nick Pratto came in with a two-run single, loaded on bases, before Maikel Garcia followed him with a double RBI, and closed a four-run frame with a Whit Merrifield RBI groundout.
But this season’s best baseball team responded right away, with Kyle Higashioka hitting in a run with his single, before DJ LeMahieu took him home with a homer on the short right-field porch.
Later in the seventh inning, with Aaron Judge and Aaron Hicks on base, Anthony Rizzo led the Yankees 6-4 with the longest shot of the game to date, a 418-foot home run on the right-field wall.
Kansas City’s Hunter Dozier made it past the next inning with a 420 foot shot on the left court, reducing the margin to 6-5 and creating a thrilling finish.
Needing three outs to secure victory, the Yankees brought elite pitcher Clay Holmes to the rescue, but it didn’t go to plan.
Holmes knocked out first, but then sent out a five-shot walk to Merrifield, before hitting Bobby Witt Jr with a pitch to put the runners in first and second with Salvador Perez in the pot.
Perez had been swinging a hot club lately with three home runs in his last seven games, and added another one with a monstrous 441-foot atomic bomb in the center of the field, leaping an 8-6 lead in the final frame.
Instead of passing the ball to a new closer, the Royals let Taylor Clarke come out for her second inning to finish the job.
Yankees superstar Aaron Judge finished without hits, but contributed two walks and a run.
The win is only the Royals’ second in their last 12 fights with the Yankees.
Austin Riley leaves for the Braves
A quality pitching duel erupted in the Atlanta Braves’ 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, with Austin Riley taking home the game’s first run in the lower ninth inning.
Braves pitcher Max Fried conceded four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in his seven goalless innings, while Arizona’s Merrill Kelly was slightly better, conceding three hits and two walks to go with eight strikeouts in the same stretch of inning. .
The Braves have had five hits in the game and two of those were from Riley, who quickly established himself as a realistic candidate for the NL MVP.
Riley is fourth in the league by home runs (29) and second by total bases (239), behind only Aaron Judge.
Alvarez plays the hero in Houston
Speaking of players who have had incredible seasons under the radar, Houston Astros star Yordan Alvarez continued what is arguably the best season in the majors with the winner in his team’s 3-2 win against the Seattle Mariners.
He went zero out of four in the rules, but with the scores tied in the extra innings he came with a clutch blow to lead in the winning streak.
Alvarez leads the league in percentage on base (.417) and only follows Judges in hit rate (.670 versus .671 by Judge).