Royals halfway to first Yankee Stadium sweep in nearly 20 years

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NEW YORK — Take a second and think back to 1994. Bill Clinton was President, the dot-com bubble was future talk and the Kansas City Royals were working on a fine 64-51 campaign that was stunted by the player’s strike.

It was also the last time the Royals earned a series sweep in Yankee Stadium, though it should be said that it happened in the old Yankee Stadium. New or old Yankee Stadium doesn’t detract from the fact that it’s been a while since the Royals swept away the Yankees in the Bronx.

After Tuesday night’s 3-1 victory, the Royals are halfway to resetting recent history. There’s still work to be done, two games remain against the Yanks.

The good news is that the Royals have already bested Yankee ace C.C. Sabathia and the Yankee offense is currently scuffling. In July they’ve only scored 4.7 runs per game, and have only scored three times in their last three games.

Additionally, Royals hitters take aim at Ivan Nova and Andy Pettite. Neither pitcher has been particularly strong this year, Pettite has a 4.37 ERA and Nova is coming off an injury and has lost three of his last four starts.

Turning the clock back to the ’94 sweep, the Royals took three games in early June. They rallied late in game one, scoring twice in both the eighth and ninth innings to win 7-4. In game two, closer Jeff Montgomery gave up a ninth inning two-run home run to Jim Leyritz before shutting the door on a 4-3 win. They closed the series by riding a three-run first inning and 7 2/3 strong innings from starter Kevin Appier en route to a 3-1 victory that clinched the sweep.

That Royals team in historical terms signaled the beginning of the consistent malaise the Royals have been stuck in. Between 1985 and 1994 the Royals posted 7 winning seasons in 10 years. After the player’s strike they have had only ONE winning season to date, that coming in 2003.

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