Royals take second straight from visiting Yankees
By Joe Warren
Nevada Daily Mail
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A two-run homer in the first inning was all the Royals would need as D.J. Carrasco outdueled Randy Johnson giving Kansas City their second straight win over the New York Yankees Wednesday.
Emil Brown hit a 419-foot blast off Johnson in the bottom of the first inning with Angel Berroa on base to give Kansas City a 2-0 lead and Carrasco made it stick.
The 28-year-old right-hander earned his first win of the year and his first ever as a starter by scattering four hits in six innings, striking out two and walking two. That was better than Johnson (5-4), who pitched a complete game but gave up nine hits and three earned runs.
Carrasco (1-1) struggled with his command early, giving up a walk in each of the first two innings. In the top of the first it appeared the Yankees would jump out to an early lead as Hideki Matsui singled with one out and Gary Sheffield followed with a walk.
But Carrasco got Alex Rodriguez to fly out to right and Jorge Posada grounded out to first to end the threat.
Carrasco pitched out of trouble in each of the first four innings as he buckled down with runners on base. A double play in the third helped clear the bases after Carrasco hit Derek Jeter with a pitch to lead off the inning.
A base-running blunder by Jason Giambi helped Carrasco in the fourth. Giambi doubled off the wall in right field with one out. Ruben Sierra hit a bouncer back to the mound that Carrasco fielded and he turned to look at Giambi who had strayed too far off second. Carrasco was able to chase down Giambi easily to apply the tag and after a Bernie Williams single, he retired Robinson Cano to end the inning.
Carrasco's best innings were his last two as he sent the Yankees down in order in both the fifth and sixth innings.
"I thank God for giving me strength out there," Carrasco said after the game. "I made the pitches I needed to make."
Carrasco's win was the first for the Royals over Randy Johnson since 1993. Carrasco was a sophomore in high school when that happened. Beating the Big Unit was a resume highlight Carrasco said he would savor.
"That's something I can tell people," he said. "I beat (Johnson)."
The pitcher could feel the excitement generated by a Kansas City team that has won two in a row over the Yankees since Buddy Bell took over as manager Tuesday.
"Everything's falling together," Carrasco said. "Early in the season a lot of things weren't going our way. Now they're falling together."
Bell could not have scripted a better beginning to his tenure in Kansas City.
"It's good man. I'm pleased with it," Bell said. "We're playing the Yankees and they're one of the best teams in baseball. They've been the best team in baseball for the last decade or so."
The Royals have now gone 2-0 for Bell after starting the season 13-37 under Tony Pena and interim manager Bob Schaefer.
Brown's home run in the first inning off Johnson landed in the fountain in left-center field. It came after Berroa led off the bottom of the first with a bloop-double that just landed fair down the right-field line. Berroa, who was hustling out of the box, legged out a double on the play while Sheffield hurried to retrieve the ball.
Berroa had almost a carbon-copy double in the third inning, when he again blooped one down the right-field line and again ended up on second. David DeJesus drove him in with a single up the middle for the Royals' final run.
The bullpen, long a concern for Kansas City this season, was able to make the three-run lead last.
Steve Stemle, making only the third appearance of his career, remained unscored upon by pitching two innings of one-hit relief. Stemle, who made his debut May 26 against Texas, has now pitched 7 1/3 innings over three appearances without allowing a run.
Mike MacDougal allowed a home run to Williams and a double to deep center by Cano, each with two outs, before striking out Jeter for his fourth save of the season and second in as many nights against the Yankees.
The Royals go for the three-game sweep over the evil empire tonight at Kauffman Stadium.