The need for some offensive help is growing by the day for the Yankees, who once again looked lifeless at the plate in a 5-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Monday night.
Reinforcements are on the way with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez making progress on their respective rehab assignments, but the lineup that Girardi penciled in on Monday featured newly acquired first baseman Travis Ishikawa and fellow castoffs Luis Cruz, Alberto Gonzalez and Austin Romine hitting six through nine. They combined for zero hits entering the seventh inning, which prompted Girardi to pinch-hit for three of the four.
Lyle Overbay pinch-hit for Ishikawa and hit his 10th homer of the year, followed by singles from Cruz and Ichiro Suzuki to put runners on the corners with two outs. Eduardo Nunez was brought in to pinch-hit for Romine, but struck out swinging. The Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but Nunez, Brett Gardner and Zoilo Almonte struck out consecutively to end the game.
Phil Hughes started the game for the Yankees, allowing two runs in the second on a solo homer from Billy Butler and an RBI double from David Lough. A 59-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fourth ended his outing prematurely, as Hughes only pitched four innings, allowing four hits and striking out two on 62 pitches.
The Royals added a run in the seventh on Johnny Giavotella’s RBI double and two in the ninth on Alex Gordon’s RBI double and Alcides Escobar’s RBI triple.
Associated Press photo