American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, May 6th
(All times eastern)
New York Yankees (14-13) at Kansas City Royals (9-17), 2:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: New York - Phil Hughes (1-4, 7.48)
Kansas City - Luke Hochevar (2-2, 7.36)
(Sports Network) - The Kansas City Royals gun for their fourth win in five
tries this afternoon as they close out a four-game set against the New York
Yankees at Kauffman Stadium.
Kansas City has the second-fewest wins of any team in the American League and
is sitting in fourth place in the AL Central, 5 1/2 games off the pace, yet
the team found a way to dismiss the mighty Bronx Bombers for the second time
in three days on Saturday with a 5-1 triumph at home. The Royals, winners of
just two of 13 contests in their own stadium in 2012.
Felipe Paulino proceeded to set down the first 11 batters he faced and ended
up tossing six shutout innings, permitting four hits and a pair of walks while
striking out six, en route to the victory.
Billy Butler provided a large portion of the offense for the hosts as he
belted two doubles and drove in three runs. Alex Gordon added four hits, a
pair of runs scored and an RBI for KC.
"If you could jump out to a lead on everyone, it would be nice. Tonight that
was good that we got an opportunity in the first. I think it set the tone and
Paulino was great," Butler said.
Hiroki Kuroda gave up three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks
for the Yankees as he was saddled with his four loss in six decisions.
Curtis Granderson, who had a pair of doubles in the outing, has reached base
safely in a career-best 26 straight games but that still wasn't enough to
jump-start the New York offense.
The Yankees, now 4 1/2 games out of first and in fourth place in the AL East,
hurt themselves by finishing 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left
eight men on base. Derek Jeter, who had six hits in the first two games of the
series, came up empty in four at-bats on Saturday and watched his batting
average drop from .404 to .390.
Trying to get on track after several disappointing outings thus far, Phil
Hughes heads to the mound for the Yankees this afternoon. The 25-year old has
just one win in five starts in 2012, his 7.48 ERA being buoyed by seven home
runs issued in just 21 2/3 innings of action.
The California native was on the losing end of a 7-1 decision versus Baltimore
the first of May as he allowed four runs on four hits -- two home runs --
through 5 2/3 innings. Hughes did manage to match his season high with six
strikeouts and issued just one walk in the contest.
For his career, Hughes has a record of 2-1 with a 6.75 ERA versus the Royals.
Countering for Kansas City is Luke Hochevar who is anxious to bounce back from
a very discouraging performance against Detroit on the road Tuesday. After
allowing just three combined runs in his previous two contests the right-
hander was bombed for nine earned runs on 12 hits and three walks in only four
innings of work.
Now an even 2-2 on the season overall, Hochevar has pitched against New York
three times in his career and has an 0-1 record and a 6.00 ERA to show for his
With the Yankees now dealing with the loss of Mariano Rivera to an ACL injury
and the shuffling of the bullpen to keep it from falling apart, it is
difficult to overlook the fact that the NY pitching staff is 11th in the
league in ERA at 4.38 and not a single starter has managed to throw a complete
game as of yet. If not for an offense that is tied for second in the league in
batting at .270 and is first in the majors with 41 home runs there's no
telling where the Yankees would be right now.
05/06 10:29:47 ET