Postgame notes: Kelley and the bats

May, 11, 2013
5/11/13
1:06
AM ET
KANSAS CITY -- The New York Yankees' bats came alive Friday night, pounding out eight extra-base hits in their 11-6 victory over the Kansas City Royals. This comes a day after completing a series against the Colorado Rockies in Denver in which they managed a total of six runs in three games.

"Sometimes baseball doesn't make sense," manager Joe Girardi said.

Not much to add to that.

But not all the highlights were offensive:

[+] EnlargeShawn Kelley
Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY SportsShawn Kelley was brilliant out of the bullpen on Friday.
• Reliever Shawn Kelley, a crucial piece of the puzzle with Joba Chamberlain on the disabled list and neither Mariano Rivera nor David Robertson available on Friday, pitched a stunning 2 1/3 hitless innings, getting six of his seven outs via strikeout and fanning the first five batters he faced.

For the right-handed Kelley, who has undergone two Tommy John surgeries, it was an important step in his continuing recovery, because it showed he had life on his fastball to go along with his swing-and-miss slider.

"I think last year I kind of turned the corner later in the season when I realized that I could pitch the bulk of the innings or a full season and be healthy and not have to worry my arm," he said. "This year I’m bouncing back even better than I did last year, throwing more pitches, and the next day I’m not as sore. I think it’s starting to feel pretty good now."

Phil Hughes got the win despite pitching his worst game of the season, allowing six runs in 5 2/3 innings, on seven hits -- two of which were home runs, and one of which was a homer hit by Jarrod Dyson, who had not hit one since Sept. 2010.

"Anybody can take me out of the park these days," Hughes said, ruefully. "I don’t really think about that part of it. These are professional hitters. He might be a little guy, but he’s still dangerous."

On his overall performance, Hughes said: "I just wasn't very good tonight."

Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-5 with a home run, and in his career is hitting .365 against the Royals with 11 home runs and 54 RBIs. Six of those homers have been hit at Kauffman Stadium. Asked about the secret to his success against Kansas City, Suzuki said, "They have good burgers here. I ate four of them today."

Jayson Nix was 2-for-3 with a double, scored three runs, and got on base four times, including a walk and a hit-by-pitch. The three runs scored were a career-high.

• The win was Joe Girardi's 500th as Yankees manager, putting him in the company of Casey Stengel, Joe McCarthy, Joe Torre, Miller Huggins, Billy Martin and Ralph Houk in the Yankees manager 500 club.
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

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146