Whit Merrifield had three hits and tied a career high with three stolen bases to spark the host Kansas City Royals to a 5-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Merrifield helped the Royals halt a five-game losing streak with a double and two singles in his first three at-bats against CC Sabathia (2-1) to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
Merrifield also stole three bases for the third time in his career and for the second time this season (also May 6).
Salvador Perez drove in three runs with an RBI groundout, a solo home run and a run-scoring double.
Kansas City’s other runs scored on a fielding error by rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres and a bases-loaded walk by Hunter Dozier.
Jakob Junis (5-3) allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three, walked one and threw 101 pitches.
Four relievers held the Yankees to one hit the rest of the way. Kelvin Herrera needed only nine pitches in the ninth and converted his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
Neil Walker hit an RBI single and Miguel Andujar lifted a sacrifice fly for the Yankees, who played for the first time since Tuesday due to a rainout in Washington. New York also lost for the fourth time in its last 23 games.
Sabathia allowed four runs (two earned) and four hits in five innings. He took his first loss since Aug. 8 of last year and saw a 15-game unbeaten streak end.
Merrifield help create the Royals’ first run by doubling to center field, stealing third and scoring on a groundout by Perez.
Kansas City loaded the bases with two outs in the third and took a 2-0 lead when Torres bobbled Jay’s grounder, allowing Abraham Almonte to score. The Royals made it 3-0 when Merrifield scored on Dozier’s walk.
Perez made it 4-0 with one out in the fifth by lifting Sabathia’s first-pitch changeup well over the left field fence for his sixth homer of the season. He snapped an 0-for-13 skid on the hit.
The Yankees made it 4-2 on Walker’s base hit up the middle and Andujar’s sacrifice fly off Tim Hill in the sixth, but Perez doubled when Aaron Judge was unable to make a diving catch in the seventh.
—Field Level Media