KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Luke Voit hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning and the New York Yankees won their sixth game in a row, beating the Kansas City Royals 7-3 Saturday to open a day-night doubleheader.
Friday night’s game was postponed because of severe thunderstorms, forcing the split twinbill.
J.A. Happ (4-3) threw six strong innings, striking out 10. He allowed only a single hit until a familiar problem showed up in the sixth when Whit Merrifield hit a tying, three-run homer. It was the 14th homer Happ has allowed, tied for second most in the majors.
Voit quickly restored the Yankees’ lead when he hit a two-run homer estimated at 470 feet off Scott Barlow (1-1). Voit also singled and scored in the first inning, scoring from first base on Clint Frazier’s two-run double.
Thairo Estrada added some insurance in the eighth with a double into the right field corner that scored Brett Gardner and Frazier. Gardner had three hits and scored twice.
Adam Ottavino and Luis Cessa combined to throw three scoreless innings in relief of Happ.
After Billy Hamilton reached on an infield single and Nicky Lopez singled, Merrifield connected for his seventh home run of the season. Merrifield didn’t hit his seventh homer last year until Aug. 5.
Barlow had his second straight shaky outing for the Royals. His ERA sat at 2.01 after a scoreless outing against the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday, but got tagged for four runs in 1 2/3 innings on Wednesday in St. Louis and gave up four more runs Saturday in 1 1/3 innings.
Lopez had a couple of hits in his first game as the Royals’ leadoff hitter and Adalberto Mondesi stole his major league-best 18th base.