Club-house comradery drives Yankees’ offensive outburst vs. Royals

New York Yankees’ Austin Wells, center, is congratulated after his home run drove in Giancarlo Stanton (27) and New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres, left, during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo.
AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann
Sara Molnick
Wednesday June 12, 2024

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On Tuesday, the Yankees went on a dominant 10-1 offensive outburst against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. This stands in stark contrast to their small-ball tactics that secured a victory in the series opener. The New York Yankees and star slugger Aaron Judge reclaimed their power-hitting prowess and they exploded for three home runs, including Judge’s league-leading 25th of the season.

With Aaron Judge well-rested and back in the heart of the lineup after enjoying his inaugural day off this year, the Yankees wasted no time in reverting to their trademark long-ball style, pummeling pitches and sending echoes of thunder throughout the stadium.

Returning to the lineup after his first day off of the year, Judge blasted a two-run, 436-foot homer in the seventh inning, putting the game out of reach. This marked his 21st homer in his last 41 games, boosting his OPS to a Major League-best 1.149. He, now tied with Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez for the MLB lead in RBIs with 62, recorded his 22nd multi-RBI game of the season.

Adding to the offensive fireworks, catcher Austin Wells and designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton also homered. Stanton’s 446-foot shot to center field was particularly impressive, clearing three walls before disappearing below the Jumbotron. The ball left his bat at 111.2 mph, giving him 16 home runs on the season.

Hitting coach James Rowson spilled the bean behind this offensive outburst and gave credit to the camaraderie within the team for this.

“But I think it’s also: You have to look at the synergy and the way this group kind of galvanizes together, and it’s something special to watch,” Rowson said. “We have the talent, but we also have the right chemistry in this clubhouse with these guys.”

New York Yankees’ Alex Verdugo, right, celebrates with New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge (99) after Judge hit a two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo.
AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

With the win, the Yankees improved to a season-best 27 games over .500 at 48-21, continuing their hot streak with victories in 11 of their last 13 games.

Yankees’ synergy in full display against Royals

The Kansas City Royals have shown promise this season, boasting one of baseball’s top-five rotation ERAs and ranking fourth in runs scored. However, their efforts have fallen short against the New York Yankees, who have dominated in their four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

The Yankees rolled to a 10-1 victory Tuesday night, powered by three home runs and flawless defense that backed starter Marcus Stroman and a strong bullpen. This win marked New York’s 11th in their last 13 games and improved their record against AL Central opponents to an impressive 16-1, including wins over the Royals (39-29), Twins, White Sox, Guardians, and Tigers.

Judge led the Yankees charge with his major league-leading 25th home run in the seventh inning. Manager Aaron Boone lauded Judge’s remarkable performance, noting that he tries not to take the slugger’s achievements for granted. Judge extended his on-base streak to 36 games, during which he has batted .415 with 35 extra-base hits.

The Yankees have demonstrated depth beyond Judge’s contributions. Every starter, except Anthony Rizzo, who made significant defensive plays, reached base on Tuesday. The Yankees seized an early lead in the first inning with an Anthony Volpe triple, a Juan Soto walk, and a bloop single by Judge, maintaining control throughout the game. They have led after every inning of the series so far.

Yankees' players: Juan Soto, Aaron Judge and Alex Verdugo
North Jersey

Judge credited the team’s success to their mutual confidence and the presence of many talented players in the clubhouse. This victory pushed the Yankees to a season-high 27 games over .500, reinforcing their status as a dominant force in the American League.

“We’ve just got a lot of confidence in each other,” Judge said. “We’ve got a lot of special players in this room.”

As the series continues, the Royals face the challenge of countering the Yankees’ formidable play to stay competitive in the AL Central and wild-card races. Meanwhile, the Yankees aim to extend their dominance and continue their winning streak against divisional rivals.

The Yankees‘ victory was sealed in the fourth inning, highlighted by Gleyber Torres’ RBI single and a three-run homer from Austin Wells, which Yankees manager Aaron Boone described as a “big knockout right there.”

Judge continued the offensive barrage in the seventh inning, smashing his MLB-leading 25th home run and tying Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez for the lead in RBIs with 62. Stanton followed with a colossal 446-foot homer to center field off Nick Anderson. Judge later revealed that Stanton had playfully predicted his shot, saying he hadn’t yet hit one to dead-center at the stadium.

New York Yankees’ Austin Wells, center, is congratulated after his home run drove in Giancarlo Stanton (27) and New York Yankees’ Gleyber Torres, left, during the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo.
AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

Starting pitcher Stroman and the Yankees’ bullpen were dominant, even without the extra run support. Stroman scattered four hits and three walks over 5 ²/₃ scoreless innings, relying on soft contact and stellar defense to lower his ERA to 2.82.

The Yankees’ defense was stellar, with shortstop Anthony Volpe making a challenging play look routine in the second inning, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo making an impressive basket catch in the fourth, reminiscent of Jim Edmonds’ famous grab at the same stadium.

The bullpen, led by recent call-up Ron Marinaccio, provided crucial support. Marinaccio struck out Drew Waters with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, leading Stroman to joke that he owed Marinaccio a bottle of wine.

Boone summed up the game as “just one of those really good nights” for the Yankees, who improved to 48-21 and extended their lead in the American League East.

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