KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Luke Voit hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning and the Yankees won their sixth game in a row, beating the Kansas City Royals, 7-3, Saturday afternoon in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.
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 game-tying, three-run homer. It was the 14th homer Happ has allowed, tied for second most in the majors.
Voit quickly restored the Yankees’ lead when he hit a two-run homer, estimated at 470 feet, off Scott Barlow (1-1). Voit also singled and scored in the first inning, from first base on Clint Frazier’s two-run double.
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.
Barlow had his second straight shaky outing for the Royals. His earned run average sat at 2.01 after a scoreless outing against the Los Angeles Angels last Sunday, but he was tagged for four runs in one and two-thirds innings on Wednesday in St. Louis and gave up four more runs Saturday in one and a third innings.
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.
Friday night’s game was postponed because of severe thunderstorms, forcing the split doubleheader.
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 was playing consecutive doubleheaders for just the eighth time in franchise history, and first time since Aug. 13 and 14, 1983.
The Yankees recalled Chance Adams on Saturday to serve as their 26th player in the second game of the doubleheader. Adams threw three scoreless innings in a 13-5 win over Tampa Bay on May 19, his only appearance this season.