Royals 6, Yankees 1: After Scorching the Red Sox, the Yankees Wilt Against the Royals Express News

Homer Bailey has something to smile about if he goes hunting with Cal Eldred during the off-season. Bailey, whose career had come apart over the last few years, on Thursday won a second consecutive start for the first time since July 2017.

“I can be the first person to say wins are precious. Sometimes they can be few and far between, so you enjoy them when they come,” Bailey said after holding the Yankees to three hits over six innings in the Kansas City Royals’ 6-1 victory at Yankee Stadium.

Eldred, the Royals’ pitching coach, had called Bailey in January, after the right-hander was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Eldred did some research, knowing they had a common interest.

“We both like to deer hunt,” Eldred said. “My recruiting pitch was, ‘You know what, Homer, you’ve got good stuff, and I’ve seen you for a long time, and I think that we can work together.’ We’ve got good people over here. We’ve got a young team that he could be a good example to.”

Jorge Soler and Ryan O’Hearn backed Bailey (2-1) with solo home runs off Domingo German (3-1).

Bailey, who turns 33 on May 3, has been among baseball’s biggest busts since signing a $105 million, six-year contract with the Cincinnati Reds before the 2014 season

Unable to overcome injuries that have prevented him from pitching a full season since 2013, he went 18-32 for the Reds after the big deal. Bailey missed more than 14 months after Tommy John surgery in May 2015 and then needed another operation in February 2017 to remove bone spurs from his right elbow.

He was 1-14 last season, and then was traded to the Dodgers in December and released with $28 million still due. Bailey signed a minor league contract with the Royals on Feb. 9, made the team and after opening with a no-decision against Minnesota and a loss to Seattle, allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings to beat Cleveland last Saturday for his first win since May 12.

He gave up a tying run to the Yankees on Gleyber Torres’s first-inning sacrifice fly after singles by Aaron Judge and Luke Voit, and then gave up just one more hit. Bailey struck out six and walked one.

Coming off a two-game sweep against the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees got only four hits altogether on Thursday, two of them from Clint Frazier, who is hitting .347.

Bailey has a 4.30 E.R.A., a figure inflated when gave up seven runs to the Mariners.

“His split was a problem for us,” Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said. “We just were having a hard time laying off that pitch.”

German gave up three runs and six hits in six innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. He gave up consecutive doubles in the first to Adalberto Mondesi — who had been 0 for 20 on the road this year — and Alex Gordon, then fell behind 3-1 on leadoff home runs by Soler in the second and O’Hearn in the fourth.

The Yankees bullpen got five more strikeouts for a total of 14, but Whit Merrifield hit an R.B.I. double in the seventh off Jonathan Holder, and Mondesi added sacrifice flies against Zack Britton and Joseph Harvey.

The Yankees lost for the sixth time in nine games, and they have not been over .500 since a 15-3 romp in Baltimore on April 7 gave them a 5-4 record.

Mike Ford made his major league debut for the Yankees after 561 games over seven minor league seasons and went 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts as his parents watched from the stands. Ford saw 24 pitches and took a called third strike that ended the game. He flew out in his first at-bat.

“It was just awesome,” he said. “I actually wasn’t very nervous, just kind of ready for the moment and just tried to put a good swing on the ball.”

A TRADITION HALTED The Yankees have suspended the use of Kate Smith’s recording of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch while they investigate an allegation of racism against the singer.

The Daily News reported that there were conflicting claims about Smith’s 1939 song “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.” The song originated in the 1931 Broadway revue “George White’s Scandals,” and was considered satire. It was recorded by Smith and also by Paul Robeson, who was black and a prominent civil rights activist.

The team said in a statement: “The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information. The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity.”

Smith died in 1986. The Yankees have used her recording of “God Bless America” and sometimes live singers during the seventh inning since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They used an organ version on Wednesday and Thursday.

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