By Jason Schott - Associate Editor - @JESchott19
In what Derek Jeter called "a game of missed opportunities," the Yankees lost 2-1 to the Royals in Kansas City on Sunday.
Hiroki Kuroda had another great outing, as he went 7 innings, and allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and 3 striekouts.
The Yankees could not get Kuroda the win as they were 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position and they left 9 runners on base. Their 2 through 5 hitters went a combined 1-for-15 at the plate. Derek Jeter went 0-for-4, Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-for-4, Carlos Beltran went 1-for-3 with a walk, and Brian McCann went 0-for-4.
James Shields got the win for the Royals and he improved his record to 7-3. He went 6 innings, and allowed 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks, and he struck out 8.
Shields said of the Yankees, "They're always tough. They make good at-bats. It's always a grid whenever you face them." Royals Manager Ned Yost said, "Shields had to grind it out again and again, and he made it through some choppy waters."
Jeter said, "It was a game of missed opportunities. We had a lot of opportunities. Give those guys credit. We've seen Shields for years now and he's as good as they come, especially with guys on base. He bears down."
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said, "Somehow we've got to find a way to get it done."
The Yankees' first scoring chance came in the second inning, as they loaded the bases as Yangervis Solarte and Ichiro singled followed by a Brian Roberts walk. Kelly Johnson struck out, Brett Gardner grounded into a force out of Solarte at the plate, and Derek Jeter struck out to end the inning.
Kansas City kept the momentum of getting out of that jam going into the bottom of the second. Lorenzo Cain got an RBI double followed by an RBI single for Mike Moustakas that made it 2-0 Royals.
The Yankees got on the board in the sixth as Solarte doubled, reached third on a passed ball, and scored on an Ichiro groundout that made it 2-1 Royals. That was it for Shields, as that oushed his pitch count up to 110.
With Aaron Crow in for the Royals in the seventh, Brett Gardner got a one-out triple over the head of Kansas City center fielder Jarrod Dyson. Jeter was up next, and he swung at the first pitch and hit it right at the shortstop, Alcides Escobar. The infield was in, so Escobar looked Gardner back to third and threw to first to get Jeter for the second out. Ellsbury struck out looking to end the threat.
Wade David retired the Yankees in order in the eighth, and Greg Holland came in for the Royals in the ninth. Ichiro got a leadoff single, and moved to second on a wild pitch. Roberts gave the Royals just what they needed, a short fly ball that Ichiro could not advance on. Mark Teixeira then grounded out to second, so Ichiro moved to third base. Garnder struck out to end the game.