NEW YORK — Homer Bailey won consecutive starts for the first time since July 2017, holding the New York Yankees to three hits over six innings and leading the Kansas City Royals to a 6-1 victory Thursday night.
Jorge Soler and Ryan O’Hearn hit solo home runs off Domingo Germán (3-1), and the Royals won their second straight after starting the season 5-12, including 0-5 on the road.
Bailey (2-1), a right-hander who turns 33 next month, has been among baseball’s biggest busts since signing a $100 million, six-year contract with Cincinnati before the 2014 season.
He went 18-32 for the Reds after the big deal, missing more than 14 months following Tommy John surgery in May 2015. He was 1-14 last season, then was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in December and released with $28 million still due.
He signed a minor league contract with the Royals, made the team and after opening with a no decision and a loss, allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings to beat Cleveland last Saturday for his first win since May 12.
He allowed a tying run to the Yankees on Gleyber Torres’ first-inning sacrifice fly following singles by Aaron Judge and Luke Voit, then gave up just one more hit. Bailey, who struck out six and walked one, had not won back-to-back starts since July 4, 2017, at Colorado and five days later at Arizona.
Richard Lovelady got five outs, and former Yankee Ian Kennedy finished. New York was limited to four singles, including a pair by Clint Frazier in the fourth and ninth innings.
Playing on the 96th anniversary of the opening of the original Yankee Stadium across the street, New York stumbled following its two-game sweep of Boston and dropped back to 8-10.
Germán gave up three runs and six hits in six innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. He fell behind on consecutive doubles in the first by Adalberto Mondesi — who had been 0 for 20 on the road this year — and Alex Gordon, then fell behind 3-1 on leadoff homers by Soler in the second and O’Hearn in the fourth.
Whit Merrifield hit an RBI double in the seventh off Jonathan Holder. Mondesi hit sacrifice flies against Zack Britton in the seventh and Joseph Harvey in the ninth.
BUILT FORD TOUGH
Mike Ford made his major league debut for the Yankees after playing 561 games over seven minor league seasons and went 0 for 3 with a flyout, two strikeouts and a walk as parents Barb and Bob watched from the stands.
The 26-year-old from New Jersey is the seventh Princeton product to reach the big leagues after playing for Tigers coach Scott Bradley, a former catcher for the Yankees and Seattle. He was brought up earlier this week but did not get into a game against Boston, though he was prepared to pinch hit in the seventh inning Wednesday.
“I had to settle myself down there,” he said. “I started to notice my hands shaking a little bit. I was like, calm down. It’s the same game.”
Yankees: 3B Miguel Andújar (labrum tear in right shoulder) took batting and fielding practice and is increasing the intensity of his workouts. Boone said it was too early to consider whether Andújar could return in a DH role if his arm is limited. … SS Troy Tulowitzki (left calf strain) took batting practice and ran on the field. He plans to travel with the Yankees on their trip that starts Monday night at the Los Angeles Angels.
LHP CC Sabathia (0-0) makes his second start for the Yankees on Friday after pitching five scoreless innings of one-hit ball against the Chicago White Sox. Sabathia needs 11 strikeouts to reach 3,000. RHP Jakob Junis (1-1), who starts for the Royals, is 0-2 at Yankee Stadium.