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Yanks, CC slowed from start against Royals

Torres' error extends Sabathia's outing in key 3rd inning
Special to MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- It had been a long time since CC Sabathia looked at a box score and saw an "L" beside his name.

But that was the case on Friday night as shaky defense, uncharacteristic walks from Sabathia and a lack of power from the usually explosive Yankees' offense added up to a 5-2 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

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KANSAS CITY -- It had been a long time since CC Sabathia looked at a box score and saw an "L" beside his name.

But that was the case on Friday night as shaky defense, uncharacteristic walks from Sabathia and a lack of power from the usually explosive Yankees' offense added up to a 5-2 loss to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

Sabathia lost for the first time since Aug. 8, 2017, at Toronto. It snapped a streak of 15 straight starts without a loss, which marked the second-longest unbeaten streak of his career. Sabathia had an 18-game unbeaten streak with the Indians and Brewers in 2008. But against a Royals' team that came in reeling with a five-game losing streak, Sabathia issued four walks, which was his highest total since Aug. 31, 2017.

Jakob Junis offered a strong start for the Royals and Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres had a rough night defensively. In the first inning, Torres muffed a popup behind second, which resulted in a fielder's choice and an RBI for Salvador Perez. In the third, Torres made a two-out error on Jon Jay's grounder that led to two more Royals' runs and a 3-0 lead.

Video: NYY@KC: Almonte comes home to score on Torres' error

"That's part of the game," Sabathia said. "[Torres] is a great player, great defensively for us. I look for him to bounce back tomorrow and be himself."

The Yankees had played only 5 1/2 innings over the previous four days because of rainy weather. But manager Aaron Boone wasn't buying the notion that rust was a factor on Friday.

"I'm sure people will take that as part of it," Boone said. "But over 162 games, you're not going to be great every night."

Video: NYY@KC: Walker plates Stanton with an RBI single

The Yankees entered the game on a 19-3 tear and had four players in their lineup with 10 or more homers. But they had eight hits in the series opener and all were singles, including Neil Walker's RBI hit in a two-run sixth. Boone gave credit to Junis, who allowed seven hits and two runs over 5 1/3 innings.

"I thought [Junis] was really good," Boone said. "I knew coming in, he has been building some momentum as a starter for them. That slider, he sinks it and then he throws that four-seamer in there."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Besides the two runs that scored after Torres' third-inning error, there was damage in that Sabathia had to throw more pitches. One run scored on the error and then Sabathia walked in a run. He wound up having to throw 41 pitches to get out of that third inning.

Video: NYY@KC: Dozier plates a run with a bases-loaded walk

"CC had to throw more pitches and I feel bad for that," Torres said.

SOUND SMART
The Yankees now have to win on Saturday and Sunday to capture their eighth consecutive series. They last won nine series in a row in 1998 (July 20 through Aug. 20).

HE SAID IT
"That was the worst night I've had in the big leagues. I stole a blanket from Gleyber." -- Sabathia, talking about the Yankees being stuck at the airport in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night

UP NEXT
Yankees right-hander Luis Severino (6-1, 2.14 ERA) will try to build on his impressive start to the season at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday in the middle game against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Severino, working on five days' rest, has held opponents to a .185 batting average and New York is 8-1 in his starts. Kansas City will go with lefty Danny Duffy, who allowed a career-high nine earned runs over 3 1/3 innings on Sunday against the Indians.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.

New York Yankees, CC Sabathia, Gleyber Torres