KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Luke Voit hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning and the New York Yankees won their sixth game in a row, beating the Kansas City Royals 7-3 Saturday to open a day-night doubleheader.
Friday night’s game was postponed because of severe thunderstorms, forcing the split twinbill.
J.A. Happ (4-3) threw six strong innings, striking out 10. He allowed only a single hit until a familiar problem showed up in the sixth when Whit Merrifield hit a tying, three-run homer. It was the 14th homer Happ has allowed, tied for second most in the majors.
Voit quickly restored the Yankees’ lead when he hit a two-run homer estimated at 470 feet off Scott Barlow (1-1). Voit also singled and scored in the first inning, scoring from first base on Clint Frazier’s two-run double.
Thairo Estrada added some insurance in the eighth with a double into the right field corner that scored Brett Gardner and Frazier. Gardner had three hits and scored twice.
Adam Ottavino and Luis Cessa combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief of Happ.
After Billy Hamilton reached on an infield single and Nicky Lopez singled, Merrifield connected for his seventh home run of the season. Merrifield didn’t hit his seventh homer last year until Aug. 5.
Barlow had his second straight shaky outing for the Royals. His ERA sat at 2.01 after a scoreless outing against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, but got tagged for four runs in 1 2/3 innings on Wednesday in St. Louis and gave up four more runs Saturday in 1 1/3 innings.
Lopez had a couple of hits in his first game as the Royals’ leadoff hitter and Adalberto Mondesi stole his major league-best 18th base.
The Royals were back in action for the first time since playing a doubleheader against St. Louis on Wednesday, which also was caused by stormy weather. Kansas City is playing consecutive doubleheaders for just the eighth time in franchise history, and first time since August 13-14, 1983. It’s just the second time Kansas City has played consecutive doubleheaders against two different opponents, the other time occurring on April 19 and 22, 1972, against Oakland and the Chicago White Sox.
Royals: Kansas City recalled LHP Brian Flynn from Triple-A Omaha and optioned RHP Richard Lovelady. Lovelady remained with the team as the 26th player for the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Flynn hasn’t pitched yet this season after spraining the UCL in his throwing arm late in spring training. The 29-year-old lefty appeared in six games for Omaha, allowing 10 runs in 22 2/3 innings pitched. He had a 2-2 record with a 3.57 ERA.
Yankees: Chance Adams was recalled Saturday to serve as New York’s 26th player in Game 2 of the doubleheader. Adams threw three scoreless innings in a 13-5 win over Tampa Bay on May 19, his only appearance this season.
The Royals and Yankees will play Game 2 of their doubleheader Saturday night with a first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Jorge Lopez (0-5) will start for Kansas City while New York has yet to name a starter.
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