Carlos Rodón wins his 7th straight start by pitching the Yankees past the Royals 4-2

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Carlos Rodón pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning in his return to the mound where he hit his low point last September, winning his seventh straight start and leading the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Monday night.

Juan Soto rejoined the Yankees lineup after missing a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers because of left forearm inflammation. He went 1 for 3 with a run and a walk as the designated hitter.

“I did all my treatment early today and I went to the cages making sure everything went fine and it did,” Soto said. “I’ve been seeing a lot of improvement. Definitely, it’s not going to go away that quick.”

AL-best New York (47-21) won for the 10th time in 13 games and improved to 15-1 against the AL Central. Aaron Boone got his 556th victory, tying Billy Martin for seventh among Yankees managers.

After arriving in Kansas City at 3 a.m. following a Sunday night game in the Bronx, the Yankees gave Aaron Judge his first game off this season and rested slumping Anthony Rizzo and Giancarlo Stanton.

Rodón (9-2) allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, giving up Freddy Fermin’s RBI single in the seventh. He has a 2.93 ERA in 14 starts.

Bobby Witt Jr. had an RBI single in the eighth off Ian Hamilton.

Michael Tonkin worked around a walk in the ninth for his second big league save and first since last year with Atlanta. Yankees closer Clay Holmes pitched three of the previous four days.

A 34-year-old who made his major league debut in 2013, Tonkin was cut by Minnesota and the New York Mets (twice) in April.

“The first month was less than ideal, but to be here now, it’s all worth it,” said Tonkin, who has increased his two-seam fastball and slider usage. “It’s good to get in a groove and get comfortable and be in a position where I feel like I’m not scared that I’m going to get tapped on the shoulder after every game.”

In the final start of his first Yankees season, Rodón allowed all eight batters he faced to reach base last Sept. 29 in a 12-5 loss that dropped him to 3-8 with a 6.85 ERA in 14 starts.

When pitching coach Matt Blake came out of the dugout in an attempt to get him on track, the two exchanged a few words before Rodón turned his back on Blake and gestured for him to return to the dugout, even though the coach was still talking. Rodón blamed himself for feeling frustrated at his performance.

“I knew this game was coming and it was circled on the calendar and I wanted to show up and give my team the best chance to win after coming out of here last year over what happened and not pitching well,” Rodón said. “I tried to flush it early on but it’s hard to get that one out of your head. It wasn’t just one start. It was a culmination of the whole ’23 — wasn’t so great, so that definitely motivated me.”

Alex Verdugo hit a go-ahead single in a two-run first on a grounder that glanced off the glove of a diving Witt in the shortstop hole. Verdugo scored on DJ LeMahieu’s safety squeeze against Seth Lugo (9-2), one of three sacrifice bunts by the Yankees.

Jose Trevino boosted the lead to 4-0 with a two-run single in the fourth that followed Jahmai Jones’ bunt.

Lugo gave up four runs on eight hits in seven innings and lost for the first time since April 21 after going 6-0 over eight starts. He has allowed nine runs in his last two starts, raising his ERA from 1.72 to 2.36.

“I thought I threw the ball well,” Lugo said.

Kansas City has lost nine of 14 following an eight-game winning streak.

Dan Altavilla, a 31-year-old right-hander brought up from Triple-A Omaha, pitched a perfect eighth for the Royals in his first major league appearance since April 16, 2021, for San Diego.


Yankees: RHP Gerrit Cole (right elbow inflammation) is scheduled to make a third minor league rehab start on Friday.

Royals: RF Hunter Renfroe broke his left big toe when he fouled off two curveballs in the third inning. He played the field in the fourth but was removed at the start of the fifth. … RHP Michael Wacha (broken left foot) will throw a bullpen Tuesday. … 2B Michael Massey (sprained lower back) took swings and played catch in his first day of baseball activities since leaving a May 24 game.


RHP Marcus Stroman (5-2, 3.04 ERA) starts Tuesday for the Yankees and RHP Brady Singer (4-2, 2.76) for the Royals.




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