CC Sabathia finds way as Yankees whip Royals

The Yankees still have their sights set on October, but before they have a chance to get there, they have to take care of the small things. Like beating the Royals. And getting to .500.

They knocked off a bad Royals team on Friday at the Stadium, 6-2, and the 9-10 Bombers have a chance to even their record with another victory over Kansas City on Saturday in The Bronx.

CC Sabathia pitched another solid game after coming off the injured list, limiting the Royals to just an unearned run in five innings.

And the offense and bullpen did enough to get Sabathia his first win of the season and 247th of his career.

They also beat Jakob Junis, who derailed Aaron Judge’s season when he hit him with a pitch on July 26, causing a chip fracture in his right wrist that led to a 45-game absence.

Sabathia ran into trouble in the third, partly of his own doing.

The left-hander walked Martin Maldonado to start the inning before Terrance Gore bunted in Sabathia’s direction. Sabathia had little chance to get Gore, but fired to first anyway and threw the ball away, moving the runners to second and third.

Clint Frazier filled in for Aaron Judge in right as Judge served as the DH and when Whit Merrifield hit a fly ball to right and Maldonado tried to score, he was thrown out easily despite Frazier’s throw being up the third base line.

Sabathia then got the speedy Billy Hamilton to hit an easy grounder to first, but Luke Voit — whose defense has continued to be an issue this season — fumbled the ball and Hamilton reached to extend the inning.

It was the first of three errors made by the Yankees on what became a rainy night.

Adalberto Mondesi followed with a single through the right side of the infield to give the Royals a 1-0 lead. Sabathia walked Hunter Dozier to load the bases before Alex Gordon hit a tapper in front of the plate to end the inning- but not before Sabathia threw 26 pitches, 58 through three.

The Yankees went ahead in the bottom of the inning with a one-out single by Tyler Wade followed by a two-run homer by Brett Gardner, whose grand slam in the seventh on Wednesday had propelled them to a win over Boston.

This one did the same versus Kansas City, in less dramatic fashion.

Sabathia recovered from the rocky third and held the Royals scoreless in the fourth and fifth, pitching around a pair of walks in his last inning.

Mike Tauchman hit his second homer of the season to make it 3-1 in the fifth.

Sabathia left after five innings and 86 pitches, replaced by Luis Cessa, who immediately allowed back-to-back doubles by Dozier and Gordon, cutting the lead to 3-2.

The right-hander recovered to get Jorge Soler to ground to second — moving Gordon to third — and then striking out Chris Owings and Maldonado to preserve the lead.

Judge ripped a leadoff double to right that Gore just missed. Voit walked before Gleyber Torres singled into the shift on the right side of the infield to load the bases.

DJ LeMahieu sent a liner to right-center, on which Hamilton, playing center, made a superb diving catch. Judge scored on the sacrifice fly, but Hamilton saved at least a run on the play. Voit eventually scored on a passed ball on Junis’ final pitch of the night.

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