The Yankees ended a 12-game drought against the Yankees Sunday thanks to a go-ahead grand slam in the top of the eighth inning from Jason Kubel. It was his only hit of the game, but it was a big one. Even more impressive, he hit the slam off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
The Twins trailed 3-1 heading into the eighth. But Denard Span hit a single to shallow left, Joe Mauer walked, Michael Cuddyer singled, Jim Thome walked with the bases loaded, and then Kubel cleared ’em. The Twinkies are now 6-29 in the Bronx under manager Ron Gardenhire’s leadership. More importantly, they’re 23-14 and own a 1.5-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central.
Kubel, 27, hasn’t had the best start this year. He’s currently hitting just .225 with a 661 OPS and two home runs in 98 at-bats. Perhaps the exciting four-run shot will get his juices flowing.
The Astros rallied late to keep their winning streak alive, extending it to 11 games with a 7-4 victory over the Royals on Sunday afternoon. The club is now 48-25, leading the Mariners by a full game in the AL West.
The Royals took a 4-2 lead after three innings, but Brian McCann knocked in a run with a single in the top of the fourth to cut the deficit to one run. Carlos Correa hit a game-tying solo home run in the eighth. The Astros kept their foot on the gas, scoring two more runs on RBI singles from Evan Gattis and Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the eighth and another in the top of the ninth on Correa’s sacrifice fly.
Starter Lance McCullers allowed four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts over six innings. Tony Sipp worked a scoreless seventh. Ken Giles did the same in the eighth. Hector Rondon finished off the win in the ninth, working around a one-out walk with a game-ending double play.
After winning all 10 games on their road trip against the Rangers, Athletics, and Royals, the Astros will head home for a nine-game homestand against the Rays, Royals, and Blue Jays. Each club is below .500.