Rapid Reaction: Yankees 3, Royals 2

May, 22, 2012
5/22/12
9:46
PM ET
Who needs an offense? The Yankees prove a baseball team need not hit much to win, scratching out three runs to beat the Kansas City Royals tonight, 3-2. Of course, it helps when your starter holds the other guys to just two runs.

Hughes-ful outing: Phil Hughes pitched well -- 6IP, 5H, 2ER, 7Ks -- but once again, his trouble putting hitters away cost him when Humberto Quintero lashed an 0-2 pitch into the gap for an RBI double in the third. Also, Jeff Francoeur's solo home run in the fourth marked the ninth consecutive start that Hughes has allowed a HR this year, extending his own Yankees record and a feat not accomplished by another pitcher since 2006. still, a solid start for Hughes.

So Sori: New (interim) closer Rafael Soriano converted his third save in as many tries, working around a one-out double by Alex Gordon to pitch a scoreless ninth.

RISP-y business: The Yankees trouble hitting with runners in scoring position was such a hot topic of discussion tonight that the hashtag #RISP was trending on Twitter for a time in New York City. For the record, the Yankees were 2-for-7 w/RISP tonight, and one of those hits didn't even drive in a run.

Offensive explosion: Dewayne Wise's bunt single in the fifth broke an 0-for-16 stretch by the Yankees w/RISP. Derek Jeter's opposite-field RBI single with the bases loaded was the first bases-loaded hit for the Yankees since Robby Cano's grand slam on May 6, off the same pitcher, Luke Hochevar.

Cano leaves the yard: Robinson Cano hit a shot over the Yankees bullpen in the fourth, his fifth HR of the season, to cut the Royals lead to 2-1.

Major Dis-RISP-ect: After the home run, Royals manager Ned Yost elected to walk Cano to load the bases in front of Alex Rodriguez in the fifth inning. Yost's hunch proved right when A-Rod struck out, extending his hitless streak w/RISP to 11 ABs.

Boone Freeze: Boone Logan neglected to cover first base on Eric Hosmer's grounder to Mark Teixeira leading off the eighth, giving the Royals a free baserunner and probably hastening his exit from the game; Joe Girardi immediately came out to collect Logan and replaced him with Cody Eppley. Teixeira wound up bailing out Logan with a neat unassisted DP on Mike Moustakas' liner to end the inning.

New Luke: Royals starter Luke Hochevar made it into the seventh inning, allowing just three runs on six hits, a major improvement over the last time he faced the Yankees, when he couldn't make it out of the third and gave up seven runs. But that was back when the Yankees could still hit.

What's coming: After we exit the clubhouse, Andrew Marchand will fill up the blog tonight. I'll be writing a column on the gaping hole in the middle of the Yankees lineup, the one with the 13 on his back. Is this all that's left of A-Rod?

Tomorrow: Andy Pettitte (1-1, 2.51) tries to repeat his brilliant performance from last Friday against the Reds, facing RHP Luis Mendoza (2-2, 5.03), first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146