for this game

Gathright, Bullpen propel Royals past Yankees

Apr 9, 2008 - 1:32 AM By Alan Eskew PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

KANSAS CITY, Missouri (Ticker) -- The New York Yankees have owned the Kansas City Royals in the new millennium, winning 47 of 59 games since the beginning of the 2000 season - including 19 of the past 22 entering this season.

The Royals, however, used the speed of Joey Gathright and a stern bullpen to defeat the Yankees, 5-2, in their home opener Tuesday.

Gathright stroked two singles, was hit by a pitch, stole three bases and scored two runs, while four relievers - Ron Mahay, Ramon Ramirez, Leo Nunez and Joakim Soria - combined to throw four scoreless innings and yielded just two singles.

"The amount of talented and diverse arms we have out there, everybody in that pen can strike out people," Royals starter Brian Bannister said. "They all have fastballs with a lot of movement. It's an exciting group of guys. It gives me a lot of confidence, knowing if I go out there and give six or seven quality innings that I can hand the ball over and they're going to finish the job."

Soria worked a flawless ninth to log his fourth save in as many opportunities. Kansas City's bullpen has permitted just two runs in 21 innings in the first seven games.

"The bullpen has done a very good job," Royals manager Trey Hillman said.

The Yankees struck out 11 times - four by Alex Rodriguez - and did not have an extra-base hit, stranding nine runners.

"We haven't swung the bats great all year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They made some pitches when they had to."

With the score knotted at 2-2 in the bottom of the fourth, Gathright led off with a single before promptly stealing second and third base. He scored on a single by Mark Grudzielanek for his second run of the game, ending the day for Yankees starter Phil Hughes (0-1).

"I'm just trying to do my job, to do whatever it takes to get on base and get some runs," Gathright said. "I've just got to keep it going, that's all. I had too much stress last year, so this year I come out and have fun."

Twice Gathright, one of the fastest players in the American League, stole second on pitch outs.

"I didn't know they were pitchouts, but I was just going," Gathright said. Gathright added that "of course" he likes creating havoc on the base paths.

"You want to go out and make people a little nervous," Gathright said. "It gives the batters behind you an opportunity to get good pitches to hit."

Royals starter Brian Banister (2-0) allowed two runs, five hits and four walks while striking out six for his second straight victory to open this season.

The 27-year-old righthander wasn't as sharp as his season debut, when he threw seven scoreless innings with no walks at Detroit.

"It was a battle," Bannister said. "We were just trying to figure out where I needed to throw my pitches without giving in so much that they start hitting balls off the wall. I was never able to get a 1-2-3 inning."

The three-year veteran, who did record a 1-2-3 frame in the fifth, threw 97 pitches, including 42 in the second when the Yankees scored two runs after the first two batters were retired.

"It always seemed like somebody would hit a good pitch," Bannister added. "I was consistently trying to keep my pitch count down after that long second inning. I wanted to really get six innings and I was going to go back out until we jumped out with a couple of more runs and they felt like the bullpen could handle it from there."

Hughes struggled even more, giving up three runs, six hits and four walks in three-plus frames.

"All my other pitches work off my fastball and I wasn't able to locate it," Hughes said. "My slider was good and my changeup, too, but I wasn't ahead in many counts so I couldn't use them as much. It hurt me. For the most part I struggled with the fastball the whole afternoon. I was trying to make adjustments and I'd look up and I'm already at 60 pitches."

The 21-year-old righthander, who held Toronto to two runs in six innings in a no-decision in his first start, also hit a batter and threw 87 pitches - just 47 for strikes vs. the Royals.

"I walked a guy, hit a guy and they get a hit and the bases were loaded before I could blink in the second," Hughes said. "It could have been a lot worse. It's nice to not let too much damage happen.

"It was one of those days that I didn't have fastball command. When my fastball is on I can be a lot more effective."

Kansas City added two more runs in the fifth. Ross Gload's two-run single off Yankees reliever Ross Ohlendorf plated Billy Butler and Alex Gordon.

Bannister stuck out Rodriguez on called strikes in his first three at-bats.

"He's as tough a hitter as there is out there," Bannister said. "I know he's going to be a tough out in the future. I'm just trying to make the pitches and try not to get into a pattern. I just happened to make three perfect pitches when I needed to."

"We haven't swung the bats great all year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "They made some pitches when they had to."

The Royals, who pounded out 12 hits, improved to 21-19 in their home openers.






  • 10
    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Yankees 2, Royals 5  FinalApr 8 10:44 PM


  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    NY YANKEES 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
    KANSAS CITY 1 1 0 1 2 0 0 0 x 5 12 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: NYY - PHIL HUGHES, ROSS OHLENDORF (4TH), BILLY TRABER (7TH), LATROY
    HAWKINS (8TH) AND JORGE POSADA, JOSE MOLINA (7TH)
    KAN - BRIAN BANNISTER, RON MAHAY (6TH), RAMON

    Apr 8 7:26 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ROSS GLOAD SCORED BILLY BUTLER AND ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R GLOAD ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 2
    KANSAS CITY 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.222, 0-FOR-0, BB, SF, RBI)

    Yankees 2, Royals 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 8 6:12 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK GRUDZIELANEK SCORED JOEY GATHRIGHT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M GRUDZIELANEK ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 2
    KANSAS CITY 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: M TEAHEN (.280, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Yankees 2, Royals 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 8 5:51 PM
  • 5
    roots
    DialH Added 5 roots

    Yankees 2, Royals 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 8 5:08 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JOHN BUCK SCORED ALEX GORDON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 2
    KANSAS CITY 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: T PENA (.056, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Yankees 2, Royals 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsApr 8 4:58 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO JOHNNY DAMON SCORED JASON GIAMBI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J DAMON ON FIRST, M CABRERA ON SECOND, W
    BETEMIT ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 2
    KANSAS CITY 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: R CANO (.179, 0-FOR-1)

    Yankees 2, Royals 1  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 8 4:47 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY WILSON BETEMIT SCORED JORGE POSADA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W BETEMIT ON SECOND, J GIAMBI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 1
    KANSAS CITY 1 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: M CABRERA (.286, 1 HR, 1 RBI)

    Yankees 1, Royals 1  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 8 4:43 PM


  • AL
    AT KANSAS CITY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MARK TEAHEN SCORED JOEY GATHRIGHT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEAHEN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: NY YANKEES 0
    KANSAS CITY 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J GUILLEN (.167, 0 HR, 3 RBI)

    Yankees 0, Royals 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 8 4:25 PM