Pitching seven strong innings -- two frames longer than any of his four previous outings -- Whitley finally nailed down his first major league win, and got the Yankees off on the right foot in the opener of a 10-game road trip.
New York had won three of his previous four starts, but Whitley, a longtime minor league reliever, had no decisions to show for it. Now he is 1-0 after allowing Kansas City just two runs on five hits and striking out three in a 4-2 victory that's got to have fans thinking maybe they have a real "find" in the 15th-round draft pick from Troy University.
Still not much offense: With one stroke of his bat, Brian McCann plated more runs than the offensively starved Yankees had scored in six of their previous nine games (while going 3-6).
The third man to score on McCann's three-run third-inning double must have taken special satisfaction. Mark Teixeira reached first, loading the bases, when a Jeremy Guthrie pitch grazed his shoulder. As hit-by-pitches go, this one was about as bruising as baby oil. But it was the fourth time Guthrie has plunked Teixeira, including once in a 2010 spring training game that sidelined the slugger for a few days.
The Yankees got on the board in the second inning with a rally that was more typical of them, at least lately. They had runners at first and second with one out but scored just one run, on Brian Roberts' single. With runners at first and second and one out in the eighth, they got nothing.
Aging Ichiro: Ichiro Suzuki's 40-year-old legs did not allow him to even come close to catching Alex Gordon's line drive that fell in for a double and led to the Royals' first run on Salvador Perez's RBI single in the second. Would a younger, faster Suzuki have caught up with the ball? One wonders.
Struggling Carlos: If the Yankees' milquetoast offense is going to get a boost from Carlos Beltran, it's slow in coming. He went 0-for-4 with one strikeout and failed to hit the ball out of the infield, making him 0-for-7 since coming off the disabled list.
A minute and 43 seconds well spent: Yankees manager Joe Girardi successfully challenged the safe call on Norichika Aoki's steal of second base in the third inning. The delay took 103 seconds and the inning ended when the umps put up the out sign.
Maybe not so smart: The Yankees made three obvious mistakes in this game. First, Brendan Ryan reached second base on Omar Infante's throwing error in the fourth inning but was easily cut down trying to steal third by Perez, who led American League catchers last season by throwing out 23 would-be stealers.
In the fifth, Lorenzo Cain hit a routine grounder into center field which brought home Gordon with Kansas City's second run -- but Cain was awarded a double when nobody was at second base to take the throw back to the infield.
In the ninth, Suzuki singled but became the first man Wilking Rodriguez has picked off at first base.