KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez homered, CC Sabathia found his form in his eighth start of the season, and the New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Saturday night.
The Yankees snapped their skid at four and evened the three-game series.
With rain approaching the entire evening, Sabathia (2-5) made quick work of the Royals, who had pounded out 12 runs on 17 hits the previous night. The lefty allowed the lone run on six hits without a walk in seven innings to win his second straight start.
Headley hit a three-run drive and Rodriguez added his 10th homer of the season in the ninth.
Danny Duffy (2-3) lost his third straight start, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks in five innings. It was a modest improvement over his previous two starts, when he’d been hammered for 10 runs in 4 2/3 innings by the Indians and Rangers.
Both teams squandered opportunities for big innings in the third.
Duffy walked three of the first four Yankees he faced in the frame, and Carlos Beltran’s sacrifice fly made it 1-0. Headley followed with a flyout to end the inning.
The Royals countered with three straight singles off Sabathia to begin their half, including a chopper that Sabathia fielded cleanly but was slow in throwing to first base. Mike Moustakas hit his own sacrifice fly before Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer struck out to end the inning.
Duffy fell into a nice rhythm after his escape, but gave up consecutive two-out singles in the fifth. After going ahead 0-2 on Headley, the Yankees’ third baseman battled back to force a full count, then sent the next pitch sailing into the bullpen in left field.
Duffy was replaced the next inning by veteran Joe Blanton, who made his first appearance in a big league game since Sept. 3, 2013. Blanton allowed one run the final four frames.
Rain started to fall heavily in the bottom half of the fifth, when Sabathia stranded runners on first and second, before blowing out of the area after about 10 minutes.
Lightning started to flash across the sky in the seventh, but crew chief Bill Welke allowed the game to continue. Yankees relievers Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller breezed through the last two innings to help finish the game before the storms arrived.
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka (wrist tendinitis) will throw a bullpen session Monday. If all goes well, he could begin a rehab assignment Thursday.
Royals: Blanton was selected from Triple-A Omaha and Aaron Brooks optioned to the same club. To clear roster space, LHP Brian Flynn (torn shoulder muscle) went to the 60-day DL.
Yankees: LHP Chris Capuano makes his season debut. He’s been on the DL with a right quad strain that he sustained covering first base in spring training.
Royals: RHP Edinson Volquez has never faced the Yankees at home. He won at old Yankee Stadium in 2008 and lost at their new ballpark last season, both times with other teams.