Billy Butler hit a solo home run off the opposite field foul pole down the rightfield line to give the Kansas City Royals a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning of a rain-soaked game at Kauffman Stadium in Game Two of their four-game series against the New York Yankees.
The homer, which turned out to be the game-winner, came just before the second rain-delay of two hours and ten minutes in this game [an earlier delay lasted thirty-one minutes], to make this an official game in favor of the Royals, as the rain and lightning continued to light-up the Kansas City sky throughout the night.
Kansas City took a 3-0 lead off Yankees starter Dustin Moseley (L,2-2), in the bottom of the second on a two-run double by Betancourt, and a sacrifice fly by Jason Kendall.
The Yankees battled right back to tie the score in the top of the third when they put together a rally powered by five hits off Royals starting pitcher Kyle Davies (W,6-7).
After Derek Jeter made the first out, Curtis Granderson blooped a hit to centerfield; Mark Teixeira doubled down the rightfield line; Alex Rodriguez hit an infield RBI single to cut the score to 3-1; Robinson Cano stroked a run-scoring single to right to drive home Teixeira with the Yanks second run; Jorge Posada was [just] safe at first after grounding into a (3-4) force play at second base, setting-up a first and third situation for Lance Berkman, who hit a hard line drive RBI double into the rightfield corner to tie the score at 3-3. Davies ended the rally by striking out Austin Kearns for the final out of the inning.
After the long rain-delay in the fifth, both bullpens delivered excellent performances to hold the score at 4-3. The Yanks did have a chance to tie the score in the sixth, though, but stranded two runners; and, had a runner at second in the eight, but again could not score. So the game entered the top of the ninth with the Royals closer Joakim Soria now on the mound.
Jeter led off the ninth with a single. Then, after Granderson and Teixeira were retired by Soria, A-Rod hit a two-out single to create a first and third situation for Cano. But Cano grounded out to second for the final out that gave Soria his 32th save, as he preserved the Royals 4-3 victory.
This loss was a golden opportunity lost by the Bronx Bombers (71-44), as both the Rays and Red Sox also lost their games yesterday.
The Tampa Bay Rays (69-46), were shutout 5-0 by the Baltimore Orioles, who are now (9-2) since Buck Showalter took over leadership of the team as new manager. And the Boston Red Sox (66-51) blew an 8-2 lead, losing to the Texas Rangers 10-9 on a walk-off homer by Nelson Cruz in the 11th inning.
So, the pennant races continue with all games being very important during this part of the baseball season. And no team or game should be treated lightly, as every game must be played like a playoff game.
– Jimmy Curran “BY&L” – Baseball, The Yankees, and Life …