Royals Close to Achieving Uncommon Series Win Against Yankees

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Royals Close to Achieving Uncommon Series Win Against Yankees

September 29, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri, USA, the Kansas City Royals’ shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. (7) celebrated a significant milestone in his career by hitting his 30th home run, a two-run shot in the seventh inning against the New York Yankees at Kauffman Stadium. This achievement was captured by Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

The New York Yankees, having lost the series opener 12-5 to the Royals on Friday, faced the challenge of winning the remaining games to maintain their impressive series-winning streak against Kansas City. The Yankees (81-79) had previously won 15 consecutive series against the Royals, ranking as the second-longest streak against any opponent. Their dominance over Kansas City dated back to April 19, 2019. Despite recent setbacks, the Yankees showed resilience in September with a 16-10 record, and rookie catcher Austin Wells played a pivotal role in their late-season surge.

Austin Wells, a 24-year-old rookie, made his debut on September 1 and initially impressed Yankees manager Aaron Boone with his defensive skills. Boone praised Wells, saying, “He’s done an outstanding job behind the plate and probably surpassed our expectations there.” While Wells had a slow start with only two hits in his first six games, he quickly improved, recording hits in nine of his last 12 games. He showcased his power with four home runs and nine RBIs in his past seven games, including a three-run homer on Friday. Boone expressed optimism about Wells’ potential as a regular catcher for the team in 2024, stating, “He’s got me more excited, moving forward, than when he got here.”

In Saturday’s game, the Yankees planned to send right-hander Clarke Schmidt (9-9, 4.65 ERA) to the mound. Schmidt had previously faced the Royals on July 21, securing a win after pitching 5 2/3 innings and allowing three runs, all attributed to a homer by Michael Massey. Schmidt held a promising record of 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three career games, including one start, against Kansas City. However, he struggled in his last eight starts with a 1-3 record and a 5.85 ERA.

The Royals, on the other hand, opted for rookie right-hander Steven Cruz (0-0, 5.40 ERA) as an opener for Saturday’s game

Reference:

https://www.reuters.com/sports/baseball/royals-verge-rare-series-victory-over-yankees-2023-09-30/

https://www.rockdalenewtoncitizen.com/fieldlevel/royals-on-verge-of-rare-series-victory-over-yankees/article_51f0bc35-027e-58bf-b53f-e7c4828d7d1b.html

https://sportspyder.com/sports/mlb/articles/44951292

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