<
>

Voit, Yanks beat KC 7-3, open twinbill with 6th win in row

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Luke Voit put on quite a power show for his big rooting section at Kauffman Stadium.

With 60 family members and friends in the stands, the Missouri native hit a 470-foot, go-ahead home run in the seventh inning that sent the New York Yankees past the Kansas City Royals 7-3 Saturday in the first game of a split doubleheader.

Voit grew up near St. Louis, was drafted by the Royals out of high school, went to Missouri State and made his major league debut with the Cardinals.

"To hit the farthest home run I've probably ever hit in front of them is pretty surreal," Voit said.

Voit's two-run drive helped the Yankees win their sixth in a row.

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.

But unlike past home runs, Happ threw a good pitch, and Merrifield simply put a good swing on the ball.

"You tip your cap. He hit a ball at his shoulders," Happ said.

But Yankees manager Aaron Boone won't let one swing take away from Happ's effort.

"It was a dominating effort," he said. "He had swings and misses all day on the fastball. I thought he was just locked in from a focus standpoint, getting the ball and executing pitches all day long."

Voit quickly restored the Yankees' lead when he connected 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.

"It doesn't matter if I'm hitting, Gary (Sanchez), Gleyber (Torres), whoever. Everybody calls us the Baby Bombers, so I feel like someone will hit a home run or get a big hit," Voit said.

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.

"Whit's put himself in a position to be a run producer," Royals manager Ned Yost said.

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.

"We gave up six runs on three hanging sliders today and Barlow threw two of them," Yost said.

Jakob Junis threw six innings, giving up six hits, three runs and striking out seven, giving up little else after the two-run first.

"Good thing I settled in after that," Junis said. "It could've been a long day, but settled in, locked in. Me and (Martin Maldonado) had a good game plan and we executed for the remainder of the game."

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.

CONSECUTIVE TWINBILLS

The Royals were back in action for the first time since playing a doubleheader against St. Louis on Wednesday, which also was caused by stormy weather. Kansas City is playing consecutive doubleheaders for just the eighth time in franchise history, and first time since August 13-14, 1983. It's just the second time Kansas City has played consecutive doubleheaders against two different opponents, the other time occurring on April 19 and 22, 1972, against Oakland and the Chicago White Sox.

ROSTER MOVES

Royals: Kansas City recalled LHP Brian Flynn from Triple-A Omaha and optioned RHP Richard Lovelady. Lovelady remained with the team as the 26th player for the second game of Saturday's doubleheader. Flynn hasn't pitched yet this season after spraining the UCL in his throwing arm late in spring training. The 29-year-old lefty appeared in six games for Omaha, allowing 10 runs in 22 2/3 innings pitched. He had a 2-2 record with a 3.57 ERA.

Yankees: Chance Adams was recalled Saturday to serve as New York's 26th player in Game 2 of the doubleheader. Adams threw three scoreless innings in a 13-5 win over Tampa Bay on May 19, his only appearance this season.

UP NEXT

The Royals and Yankees will play Game 2 of their doubleheader Saturday night with a first pitch scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Jorge Lopez (0-5) will start for Kansas City and Chad Green (0-2) will be the opener for the Yankees.

---

More AP MLB:https://apnews.com/tag/MLB andhttps://twitter.com/AP-Sports