Aaron Hicks homered and JA Happ limited the Royals to one run as the Yankees cruised to a 6-3 win on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. >> Box score
Things to know about tonight's game
1) Happ's Yankees debut went about as well as anyone could have hoped as the Yankees' newest starter limited the Royals for six innings. His one blemish came in the sixth inning when Salvador Perez hit a solo home run.
2) Hicks connected on a two-run homer in the first inning for the game's first runs. Three innings later, Hicks came around to score on Miguel Andujar's RBI double. The Yankees tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning, including Greg Bird's infield single to bring home Giancarlo Stanton. Stanton hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning for New York's sixth run of the game.
3) The Royals took advantage of the Yankees' bullpen to cut into New York's lead. Chad Green and David Robertson each allowed a run in one inning apiece before Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth for his 28th save of the year.
Highlights from today's game
Hicks off the stick. pic.twitter.com/QHJJzKFtqx- New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 29, 2018
We can't blow things out of proportion with Happ facing the Royals, but in what was his first taste of playing in pinstripes, the left-hander answered the first call quite well.
Happ is not in New York to propel the Yankees into the World Series, rather his purpose is to solidify the middle of the rotation, regain the consistency from his All-Star production in the first half and excel against clubs in the American League East. Most importantly, the Yankees will rely on Happ to continue his dominance over the Red Sox, and he'll get his chance in his next start.
In last night's game, Greg Bird boosted the offense. This afternoon, Aaron Hicks answered the call to fill some of the void left behind from Aaron Judge's injury. Hicks increased his career-high season home run total to 17 and then launched his 14th double of the year. Hicks added a single and a walk to complete his fine day. The Yankees should be OK with Judge on the shelf so long as someone picks up the slack each day and fortunately, the roster is deep enough to do so.
The Yankees will play the first of two games with the Orioles on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium. Yefry Ramirez will face Masahiro Tanaka.