The Yankees and Royals sat through a lengthy rain delay for the second time this season – but the result wasn’t worth the more than two hour wait. Despite threats in the sixth, eighth, and ninth, the Yankees couldn’t get that elusive big hit. Billy Butler’s fifth inning barely-a-home run stood as the game-winning run, as the Royals won, 4-3.

AP Photo

Initial Reaction:

After three solid starts, and a one-hit relief appearance against the Royals last month, Dustin Moseley couldn’t command his stuff. He threw just ten first-pitch strikes to the 22 total batters he faced and it took him almost 60 pitches (!) to get through two innings. The Royals plated three runs on a double and a bunch of seeing-eye singles in the bottom of the second. Moseley settled down a bit after that, but a Billy Butler home run with one out in the fifth doomed the Yanks. Some great glove-work in the field prevented the game from getting out of hand.

The Yankees got to Royals starter Kyle Davies for three runs in five innings, with all of their damage coming in the third inning, answering back immediately after the Royals’ three-run second inning. After a Curtis Granderson single and Mark Teixeira’s double, Alex Rodriguez followed with a run-scoring infield single that scored one. Next up, Robinson Cano punched an RBI single to right field that cut the deficit to one run. Lance Berkman knocked a run-scoring double that tied the game.

The Yankees had their chances to battle back from Butler’s decisive blow, but weren’t able to. After resuming play after the rain delay, the Bombers threatened against Joakim Soria. The young reliever allowed a single to Derek Jeter. Then, after Granderson flied out and Teixeira struck out, A-Rod singled up the middle but Jeter could make it only to third. With runers on first and third, Robinson Cano grounded out routinely to second to end a long game.

Positives From The Game:

Gardener’s Gun: Brett Gardner earned his ninth assist of the season on a perfect one-hop throw to Posada in the first.

Dap goes to the bullpen as well. After Moseley’s start was cut short by the rain, Chad Gaudin, Kerry Wood, Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain combined for 3.2 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball.

Negatives From The Game:

The Yanks were just 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position with all three hits coming in the third inning. From the fourth inning on, they were 0-for-8.

The fact that Jeter was only on first when A-Rod cam to the plate in the ninth is a mystery to me. Soria isn’t that fast to the plate, and Jason Kendall doesn’t have a good arm behind the plate. The Yanks had to put themselves in a position to tie the game on a single, but Jeter never stole.

Interesting Facts:

Boone Logan hasn’t allowed a lefty to reach base against him since June, when he hit Ichiro with a pitch.

The Yankees and Royals have played six games this year. Three games have had rain delays – totaling 6 hours, 38 minutes.

What’s Next?:

Saturday special under the lights (no rain in the forecast). First pitch is at 7 p.m. Eastern.

Probables: Phil Hughes (13-5, 3.92 ERA) vs. Sean O’Sullivan (1-3, 5.05 ERA)