Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Brian McCann delivered a three-run double and Chase Whitley picked up his first major league victory in the New York Yankees' 4-2 decision over the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Making his fifth big league start, Whitley (1-0) yielded just a pair of runs and five hits without walking a batter over sharp seven innings. The rookie was aided by McCann's big hit and an RBI single by Brian Roberts that helped extend Jeremy Guthrie's winless stretch to 11 consecutive outings.
"I felt good about him ever since I saw him pitch the first game," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Whitley. "He throws strikes, he locates, he doesn't beat himself. He fields his position (and) and does a lot of things right."
Guthrie (2-6) allowed all four New York runs in seven innings of work while once again being handcuffed by a Royals offense that mustered only seven hits. He's now dropped six straight decisions since besting Tampa Bay on April 9.
Alex Gordon accounted for two of those hits and scored both Kansas City runs, with Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain each contributing an RBI in the loss.
The Yankees surged ahead to stay with a three-run third inning that began with back-to-back singles from Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner. Guthrie later hit Mark Teixeira with a fastball to load the bases, setting up McCann's slicing line drive into the left-field corner that cleared the sacks and snapped a 1-1 tie.
Whitley made the lead stand with solid work over the remainder of his stint, though the Royals inched closer when Gordon singled in the fifth, stole second, and crossed the plate on Cain's grounder up the middle that the outfielder hustled into a double.
The young right-hander didn't permit another baserunner, setting down eight in a row before Dellin Betances and David Robertson kept Kansas City off the board over the final two innings. Robertson did allow a Billy Butler double in the ninth and walked Gordon to place the tying run aboard, but got Perez to hit into a force play to record his 14th save.
"It's definitely frustrating when you have games like that," said Butler. "Guthrie threw the ball well but we couldn't get that big hit offensively."
Guthrie ended his outing by retiring 10 straight batters, but was victimized by his offense once more. The Royals have scored a mere three runs over his last five starts, a span of 35 innings.
The veteran was touched for an early run when Teixeira opened the second with a single and was pushed across on Roberts' two-out base hit. Kansas City drew even in the bottom of the frame, however, as Gordon ripped a double in front of Perez's RBI single to left.
Guthrie hasn't pitched with a lead in any of his last five starts ... Whitley joined Chien-Ming Wang (2005) and Pascual Perez (1990-91) as the only Yankee pitchers to not allow a home run through their first five starts with the club ... Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 11 games ... The win was New York's fifth straight at Kauffman Stadium ... Gardner finished 2-for-4.