Duffy dominates as Royals top Yankees 5-1 to avoid sweep

30 April 2004 Yankees SS Derek Jeter and 3B Alex Rodriguez in the first inning against Kansas City during the Yankees 5-2 victory over the Royals at Yankee Stadium in Bronx NY. Mandatory Credit Jeff Zelevansky  Icon SMI

30 April 2004 Yankees SS Derek Jeter and 3B Alex Rodriguez in the first inning against Kansas City during the Yankees 5-2 victory over the Royals at Yankee Stadium in Bronx NY. Mandatory Credit Jeff Zelevansky Icon SMI

But first baseman Chris Carter couldn't cleanly glove Starlin Castro's one-hop throw. "But the fact of the matter was the only game that mattered was tonight and getting us back into that winner's category and get us moving in the right direction again".

Three innings later, Montgomery surrendered his second three-run homer in as many starts (Brian McCann hit the other), throwing a slider to Mike Moustakas that didn't slide. The Royals are bad, like "on pace to lose 95+ games" bad.

Latest: Green was in the running in spring training for one of two open Yankees rotation spots, but struggled at times and began the season in Triple-A. Vargas has never beaten the Yankees in nine starts and 10 outings, going 0-6 with a 7.15 ERA. That and home runs.

Vargas gave up five runs in a 49-pitch fourth inning when the Yankees sent 10 men to the plate. If Montgomery is demoted very soon, Green is a lock is a near lock to get a shot to build on his eight big-league starts last season, some of which were very good. After Vargas retired Headley on a fly ball to center, Didi Gregorius singled home Castro.

But instead of relying on the three-run homer, the Yankees have lengthened their lineup with top-to-bottom production. "It was right over the middle of the plate". I was definitely hoping it would hook foul.

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Would you like to know why Danny Duffy is an ace, even though nobody outside his immediate family and the most die-hard KC Royals fans would say that?

The Royals got two runs back in the fourth when Salvador Perez homered, his ninth.

When asked if he was invited to the retirement ceremony, or whether he could have attended if he wanted to, former Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez failed to give a direct answer.

Hicks has been a huge part of that success, batting.326 with seven homers, 19 RBI and a.464 on-base percentage in 29 games entering Thursday night as the floating fourth outfielder. "Things are looking pretty good", manager Ned Yost said. "We kind of took him out as a precaution".

From Duffy's first pitch Thursday, this was his game. Royals RHP Ian Kennedy in all likelihood will come off the disabled list Saturday and start at Minnesota. Yankees manager Joe Girardi opted to start LF Brett Gardner Wednesday because he's "been hot" over Jacoby Ellsbury, who will start Thursday. First base umpire Jim Reynolds called him out.

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