Yankees blast four homers in rain-shortened laugher over Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Yankees took their heavy-hitting lineup on the road Friday night and showed they can still produce away from The Bronx. 

They blasted four more homers in a 12-2 rain-shortened, eight-inning victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium to win for the seventh straight game and ninth in their last 10. 

And they scored double-digit runs for the fourth time in five games. 

Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton got the offense going with a pair of homers in the first and Aaron Judge helped seal the victory with a three-run blast in the seventh. 

The home runs gave the Yankees 18 in their last seven games, a stark turnaround for an offense that homered just twice in their seven games prior to this stretch. 

“We have a lot of different ways guys can beat you,’’ Rizzo said. 

Prior to the game, manager Aaron Boone was optimistic that the success of the recent undefeated homestand would continue on the road. 

Aaron Judge (right) celebrates with Anthony Rizzo (left).
Aaron Judge (right) celebrates with Anthony Rizzo (left).

“Hopefully it translates everywhere,’’ Boone said of his team’s power surge. “When we’re at our best, we hit well at our place. We know how to use that to our advantage. A lot of guys are getting settled into their seasons and swinging a little better.” 

The Yankees made a winner of Nestor Cortes, who had perhaps the most uneven outing of his excellent start to the season, but still managed to allow just one earned run in five innings and lowered his ERA to 1.31, third best in the AL. 

The Yankees took a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first against left-hander Kris Bubic. 

DJ LeMahieu led off with a double to right to continue his hot hitting. After Judge was robbed of a run-scoring single by a diving Michael A. Taylor in center, Rizzo delivered a two-run homer, his MLB-high ninth of the season. 

Giancarlo Stanton hits a home run in the first inning.
Giancarlo Stanton hits a home run in the first inning.

Stanton followed with his fourth home run of the year to make it 3-0. 

Kansas City answered back with runs in the first and second against Cortes, who allowed seven hits Friday night, as many as he had in his first three starts combined. 

“It was good to see him when it was not necessarily easy, he still made pitches when he had to,’’ Boone said of the lefty. “He was grinding.” 

The Yankees also caught a break in the bottom of the second. 

Bobby Witt Jr. doubled with one out. With Edward Olivares at the plate, Witt wandered too far off second. Cortes fired to Gleyber Torres to start a rundown toward third, but Torres never threw to LeMahieu covering the base. Witt slid in ahead of the closing Torres, but Torres charged into Witt, who slid off the bag and was ruled out by third base umpire Manny Gonzalez. He ruled that the rookie slid over the bag himself. 

Aaron Judge hits a three-run homer in the 7th inning.
Aaron Judge hits a three-run homer in the 7th inning.

Boone said Torres should have thrown to LeMahieu, but underestimated the speed of Witt. 

Kansas City manager Mike Matheny argued the call with Gonzalez and was tossed. 

Olivares followed with a single, moved to second on a passed ball by Kyle Higashioka and scored on a single by Taylor to cut the Yankees’ lead to 3-2. 

Following Stanton’s homer, Bubic settled in and retired 10 straight and 14 of the final 15 batters he faced. 

After Cortes left following five innings, Jonathan Loaisiga pitched a perfect sixth before the Yankees put the game away in the seventh. 

Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s one-out single to shallow right started the rally before Higashioka drew a two-out walk. LeMahieu then hit a liner to Nicky Lopez at short. Lopez couldn’t handle it and the ball landed in left field, which allowed Kiner-Falefa to score and the inning to continue. 

Judge made the Royals pay with a three-run blast to right, giving him three homers in four games and five in his last seven. Torres added his second home run of the season in the eighth. 

The Yankees weren’t done. Higashioka belted a three-run double later in the inning.

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