After two days of repeated comebacks, the host Kansas City Royals have a chance to earn a rare series victory over the New York Yankees when the clubs conclude a three-game set Wednesday afternoon.
In the opener on Monday, the Royals came from behind to tie the Yankees in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th innings, only to lose 8-6 in 11 innings.
On Tuesday, the Royals rallied to erase 3-2 and 4-3 deficits en route to an 8-4 win.
The Yankees have won 10 straight series against Kansas City, 11 if you count a standalone game played between the teams in September 2017, but that streak is in jeopardy.
The Royals’ Wednesday starter will be Brady Singer, who has been on the injured list due to right shoulder fatigue since July 20.
Singer (3-7, 5.13 ERA) will be facing the Yankees for the second time in his career. He took a no-decision at New York on June 22 after giving up two runs on five hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings. He fanned five.
Singer, a first-round draft pick in 2018, has been up and down in 2021 — though more down than up. He hasn’t won a game since June 1.
In his latest outing, Singer gave up seven runs on eight hits in two-plus innings against the Baltimore Orioles. He retired the side in order in the first before allowing two runners to score in the second. The first six batters reached in the third, forcing Singer’s exit from the game and from the rotation for a while.
The Yankees will counter with left-hander Lucas Luetge, who will make his first start of the season after 41 relief appearances.
Luetge (4-2, 2.75 ERA) has pitched as many as four innings in an outing this year, but he hasn’t gone beyond two innings in an appearance since April. In nine career games against the Royals, Luetge is 1-1 with a 0.84 ERA. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings against Kansas City on June 22.
New York manager Aaron Boone undoubtedly will have to go to his bullpen at some point, a scary proposition after the past two days.
Yankees relievers gave up five runs (three earned) in five innings Monday while tying the major league single-game record with four blown saves. The bullpen yielded three runs (one earned) in three innings Tuesday.
“Maybe a little fatigue setting in,” Boone said after the Tuesday setback. “Overall, we just didn’t play our best.”
The Royals leveled the series behind catcher Salvador Perez’s fourth multi-homer game of the season and the 10th of his career. He has a career-best 29 homers on the year.
“Something I’ll never forget,” Perez said of the game. “It was amazing, especially that we won the game. That’s the most important thing.”
Making his Tuesday hitting exploits even more impressive was the fact that Perez had a bug fly into his eye just before he went deep in the sixth inning. A team trainer tried to assist Perez, but they couldn’t get the bug out until after the game.
“(I) told the umpire Bill (Miller) that I didn’t want to be there all night, so let’s go,” Perez said. “He goes, ‘Salvy, you sure you’re seeing everything good? Because I don’t want to get hit.’ I’m like, ‘I’m good, I got you.”
–Field Level Media