Losers in five of their last six, the New York Yankees will look to get back on track when the Kansas City Royals visit the Bronx for a three-game series beginning Monday. The Yankees are struggling in many facets, but the most perplexing has been the offense and its inability to produce in the clutch. Sunday’s 5-2 loss to Cincinnati marked the fifth time in eight games that New York was held to two runs or fewer. During that time, the Yankees are 6-for-59 with runners in scoring position.
Getting away from Kansas City is not necessarily a bad thing for the Royals, who are a major league-worst 5-17 at home but 11-7 on the road. Kansas City dropped two of three at home to Arizona and has lost four of five overall, but it managed to split a four-game series against the visiting Yankees earlier this month. The Royals were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and failed in all five chances to get a runner home from third base in Sunday’s 2-0 loss.
Royals Yankees Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Monday, May 21, 2012
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FS Kansas City, YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Felipe Paulino (1-1, 1.93 ERA) vs. New York RH Hiroki Kuroda (3-5, 4.50 ERA)
Paulino, who will be making his fourth start of the year, has sandwiched two stellar efforts around one bumpy one. He blanked the Yankees on four hits over six innings on May 5 and tossed seven scoreless innings while striking out nine last time out against the Baltimore Orioles. He struggled against the Yankees last year, allowing five runs and five walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Kuroda has been hit or miss in his first season with the Yankees – and there hasn’t been much middle ground. He was pounded for a season-high seven runs and surrendered three homers in an 8-1 loss to Toronto last time out. He is 3-1 at Yankee Stadium, pitching at least seven innings and allowing two runs or fewer in three home starts. He lasted only 4 1/3 innings in a loss at Kansas City.
1. Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira hopes to be back in the lineup after not starting any of the three games against Cincinnati due to a lingering cough.
2. Royals RF Jeff Francouer had his 10th four-hit game Sunday. He’s 4-for-8 against Kuroda.
3. New York has dropped only one series against Kansas City since 1995, going 13-1-3.