Game 43: Yankees vs. Royals

May 22, 2012, 7:05 p.m. ET, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.
TV / Radio: MY9/MLB Network, WCBS 880 AM

The Yankees put a seven-run pounding on Luke Hochevar the last time they faced him on May 6 in Kansas City, and they certainly could use another one of those tonight. After going 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position on Monday, the .500 Yankees – tied with the Red Sox for last place in the AL East – will hope to crack out of their funk tonight.

“We’re 21-21, it’s not acceptable, it’s not good,” hitting coach Kevin Long said. “We need to turn it around. We need some people to step up. But again, we’ve got to understand where we’re at and what we’re doing. We need some guys to step up and get some big hits. We need guys to make some pitches. We need guys to step up and make plays defensively. And we need our luck to change.”

Phil Hughes is looking to bounce back from a loss in his last start on May 17, though he worked to limit the damage, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings to the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Hughes had won his last two outings before that start, including that May 6 start against the Royals in which he outpitched Hochevar.

“In the Toronto start, for a guy who really didn’t have much off-speed, he did a pretty good job for us,” Joe Girardi said. “He pitched pretty effective with his fastball. The key to me tonight is getting some of that off-speed stuff going.”

Here are tonight’s lineups:

ROYALS (17-24)
Jarrod Dyson CF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Billy Butler DH
Mike Moustakas 3B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Alex Gordon LF
Irving Falu 2B
Alcides Escobar SS
Humberto Quintero C

RHP Luke Hochevar (3-4, 7.02)

YANKEES (21-21)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Raul Ibanez DH
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Russell Martin C
Dewayne Wise LF

RHP Phil Hughes (3-5, 5.23)


Right on Seeknay. Everyone trying to hit a grand slam instead of getting a single or double. We need a Don Mattingly back again. First time I’ve seen a Yankee hitter bunt for a long time and it worked.


Followed by Raul’s K. The MAJOR problem with this offense is way too many sluggers and NOT enough contact hitters. PUT the ball in play with the bases loaded. And instead the Yankees get a ground out and two K’s. And we wonder why they are in last place????


Can you believe the Yankees had bases loaded with no outs and only got 2 runs and left the bases loaded and good old faithful ARod strikes out again with RISP. He’s done that regularly this year. You gotta strike while the iron is hot man. Didn’t do it again. It will come back to bite them later


Gardner has a sore elbow. He’s been out for aeons it seems. I thought he was a tough little bugg##. Maybe not. I didn’t think the team would miss his this much. Wise is hopeless in the outfield and Jones isn’t much better. Old guys at the end of their career. We have too many of them


Girardi feeling no heat from owners? You’ve got to be kidding me. Tied for last place and a record of 6 for 70 plus with RISP? With the way our starters have been pitching? The way Tex and Arod and even Cano and Swisher lately and yes, Jeter have been hitting? Come on. There would be heat if George were still alive, no doubt about it.


Surprise, Surprise, Surprise. Down 1-0 already. Does this team EVER get a lead??? There NEEDS to be some changes made in the management of this club. And again I ask when the *ELL does Gardner get back with this club????


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