Sun, 03 Dec 2023

Royals blast three homers, dump Yankees in finale

Field Level Media
02 Oct 2023, 08:05 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports)

The Kansas City Royals put on a power display in the season finale, hammering three solo homers in support of Zack Greinke during a 5-2 win over the visiting New York Yankees on Sunday.

In possibly the final appearance of his 20-year career, Greinke (2-15) threw five-plus innings of one-run ball. He allowed four hits and two walks while striking out two.

MJ Melendez, Edward Olivares and Dairon Blanco went deep off Michael King (4-8), helping the Royal build a 4-0 lead and chasing New York starter after four innings. King surrendered eight hits and a season-high four runs with one strikeout and no walks.

Greinke was treated rudely at the start by the Yankees, who opened the game with three straight singles, but he escaped the jam with a double-play grounder.

Throwing first-pitch strikes to 15 of 19 batters, Greinke pitched into the sixth inning for the first time since July 4. After walking DJ LeMahieu to open the sixth, Greinke exited to a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Melendez connected for his 16th home run leading off the second before Nick Pratto added a two-out RBI single for a 2-0 Kansas City lead.

Olivares, his 12th, and Blanco, his third, went deep in the fourth, expanding Kansas City's lead to 4-0. Blanco had three hits and two stolen bases while scoring twice.

Bobby Witt Jr. tripled leading off the fifth, his major-league-leading 11th, and scored on Salvador Perez's sacrifice fly for a 5-0 advantage.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa's two-out, two-run single in the sixth cut the deficit to 5-2.

Three Royals relievers allowed one run over four innings, as James McArthur earned his fourth save with two scoreless innings, fanning four.

Witt was caught stealing in the third inning, and he finished the season with 30 homers and 49 steals. He fell just short of being the first player ever with at least 30 homers, 50 steals and 10 triples in a season.

Despite ending the season winning five of their last six series, Kansas City (56-106) matched a franchise record for losses (2005).

The Royals won a series against the Yankees for the first time since May 15-17, 2015, breaking a streak of 15 straight series losses.

Austin Wells had three of the Yankees' seven hits.

New York (82-80) finished with its worst winning percentage since 1992 while missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

--Field Level Media

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