KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Bronx Bombers sure haven’t lived up to their old moniker lately.
Edinson Volquez baffled New York with three-hit ball for seven innings May 17, and relievers Wade Davis and Jason Frasor wiggled out of jams the final two frames, preserving the Kansas City Royals’ 6-0 victory and the first shutout of the Yankees this season.
Not that New York’s been lighting up any scoreboards.
The Yankees have managed just 11 runs over their last six games, and five of those came in Saturday night’s win that ended a season-worst four-game losing streak.
“We just haven’t swung the bats well,” said first baseman Mark Teixeira, who went 0-for-2 before leaving with a bruised big toe. “It was just a bad week for us.”
Chris Capuano (0-1) made his season debut after rehabbing a quad strain that he sustained in spring training. The veteran left-hander gave up four runs on four hits and two walks, and left New York in a big hole when he was pulled four batters into the third inning.
“It’s certainly not the outing I wanted for my first outing,” Capuano said. “I wanted to try to give the team a little boost heading into the off day, but there were a lot of good things that happened the first three innings to build on for next time.”
Meanwhile, Volquez (3-3) was cruising right along. He struck out five without issuing a walk, and never allowed a leadoff man on base. Just one runner reached second on him all afternoon.
“He was fantastic. He had all kinds of movement and action on his fastball,” Royals Manager Ned Yost said. “For the most part, if Eddie’s executing his pitches, he’s going to be very good.”
Salvador Perez gave the Royals all the offense they needed in the second inning, when he golfed a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left field. For a moment, it looked as if Brett Gardner had leaped up to grab it, but a stiff breeze blowing out carried it just far enough.
The Royals put the game away with a big fourth inning.
Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer led off with walks, and Kendrys Morales and Perez followed with back-to-back RBI singles to knock Capuano from the game. Esmil Rogers came in and gave up another RBI double to Omar Infante before getting the Yankees out of the jam.
Paulo Orlando and Alcides Escobar drove in two more runs in the sixth.
Not that Kansas City really needed them.
Working his sinker with a low-90s fastball and paralyzing changeup, Volquez retired the first 11 batters he faced. Alex Rodriguez finally doubled off the wall in the fourth, but the Yankees were unable to get him home. Brian McCann eventually struck out to end the inning.
“I thought he had much better command of the inside corner to our left-handers today,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said, “and his curveball was pretty good as well.”
Volquez also gave up a one-out single to Chase Headley in the fifth, breezed through a perfect sixth, then allowed another single to McCann before finishing off the seventh.
“All my pitches were there today. I was able to throw a lot of strikes, attack hitters, keep the ball down,” Volquez said. “They’re pretty good hitters. I was able to make some good pitches.”
(DAVE SKRETTA, AP Sports Writer)