Have a Game Billy McKinney! Yankees 5 KC 4

Billy McKinney made two spectacular catches in centerfield and hit a 3-run homer that proved to be the game winner, pulling NY out of a 3-1 hole to beat KC on a Friday night at Yankee Stadium, 5-4.

World Series back on!

The game ended on a terrific play in the hole by Anthony Volpe, nabbing the runner trying to go to 3rd — ruled safe initially but then the umps changed it to an out call.

It all made a winner out of Clarke Schmidt, who evened his record on the year to 6-6 4.33.

“He’s done a really good job for us,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards about McKinney and his chances of staying on the team as Aaron Judge and others return from injury. “He’s done a really good job on both sides of the ball. You can put him in all three positions out there in the outfield and he does a really good job. He’s obviously hit some big homers for us. So we’ll see. Hopefully we have difficult decisions coming down here soon, and Billy’s certainly played well enough to merit continued consideration.” (Others rehabbing are Jake Bauers and Willie Calhoun.)

NY improves to 51-47, 8.5 behind Baltimore and Tampa (tied for 1st), 3 behind Toronto, and .5 behind Boston. The Royals fall to 28-71, the 2nd worst record in baseball (1 game better than Oakland).

1. Franchy Gets Yanks Out in Front

Lefty power hitter Franchy Cordero started out the season red hot for the Yankees — the surprise of April. But then he got ice cold and was sent to AAA, where he got his rhythm back. He’s up again now and red hot again.

He got the Yanks a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd with a 373-foot homer to right off Kansas City Royals starter Alec Marsh. It was Franchy’s 2nd homer in 2 games.

2. McKinney Helps Schmidt with Great Catch

Clarke Schmidt started for the Yanks and pitched well — as usual these days. Schmidt was helped in the bottom of the 2nd by a tremendous catch in centerfield by Billy McKinney who sprinted to left center and made a sliding catch of a line drive by Kyle Isbel to end the inning.

3. Schmidt Made Mistakes in 4th

But Schmidt made a couple of mistakes in the top of the 4th. After a leadoff double by Maikel Garcia, Schmidt got a line out and pop out and looked like he would strand the runner — but Schmidt hit MJ Melendez with a pitch and then threw a 2-2, 85-MPH sweeper to lefty-swinging 2nd baseman Michael Massey, who ripped it 417 feet to right for a 3-1 KC lead.

4. McKinney & Gleyber HR’s Get Yanks Back

But there was Billy McKinney again — helping Schmidt and the Yankees out. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 4th, NY down 3-1 and at a nadir — DJ LeMahieu walked, Anthony Volpe singled and Billy McKinney hit a 361-foot homer to right center and NY was back on top 4-3.

And then in the 5th, Gleyber Torres made it 5-4 with a 383-foot bomb to opposite-field right center.

5. Schmidt Good

Besides the mistakes in the 4th, Schmidt pitched well and efficiently — he was at a very low pitch count when he allowed a 1-out double and 2-out walk in the 6th, making it 1st and 2nd, 2 outs with NY up 5-3.

That’s when he was lifted at only 64 pitches — which draw some ire from Yankee Twitter. But the next batter was lefty swinging Nick Pratto and Schmidt has had some trouble with lefties.

Wandy Peralta came in and got the lefty-swinging Pratto to fly out to end the 6th.

“I mean 2 outs in the 6th that’s the game right there,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “I’m going to Wandy for the lefty there and we’re lined up pretty good. I thought probably the last time or so through lefties started to get a good look on him (Schmidt). So I was going to go to Wandy there if it got to Pratto in that inning.”

6. McKinney Helps Wandy with Great Catch in 7th

McKinney helped out Wandy with a spectacular catch for the first out of the 7th in a 5-3 game — sprinting to the wall in right-center, leaping and making the catch at the top of the wall.

Wandy then allowed an infield single and was lifted for Michael King, who allowed another single before getting 2 straight outs to end the inning.


7. Massey’s 2nd Homer Makes It 5-4

Michael Massey hit his 2nd homer of the game — a solo job off Tommy Kahnle in the 8th and it was a 5-4 game.

9. Volpe’s Terrific Defensive Play “Just” Gets Waters

Clay Holmes pitched the 9th. Drew Waters led off with a single, and after a fly out, stole 2nd base — Kyle Higashioka‘s throw a hair late. They replayed the play multiple times on TV — Waters “just’ made it in.

Next batter Maikel Garcia hit a liner over 2nd that Oswald Peraza caught and dived on 2nd to try and double off Waters — but Waters “just” made it back in time. They replayed the play multiple times on TV — and Waters “just” made it back.

Next batter Bobby Witt Jr. hit a sharp grounder between 3rd and shortstop that Anthony Volpe made the stab on, and then the heads-up throw to DJ LeMahieu at 3rd to “just” nab Waters — called safe at 1st but the umps reviewed it themselves (Yanks were out of challenges) and they rightfully called him out for the old ballgame.


  • Before the game the Yankees announced that Jose Trevino would be undergoing wrist surgery and would be out the rest of the year. Trevino said the wrist has been bothering him since Spring training, but he had been playing through it hoping it would get better. Ben Rortvedt was called up to replace him.

The Boxscore



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