The New York Yankees begin a three-game series -- and the second quarter of the 2012 MLB season -- in an uncomfortable position. The Yankees are just 21-20 and find themselves in fourth place in the American League East, five games behind the division-leading Baltimore Orioles and just one game ahead of the last-place Boston Red Sox.
Yes, the AL East seems to have been turned upside down so far in 2012. The Yankees, who have struggled with inconsistent starting pitching and a lack of offense thus far, begin trying to get untracked Monday at Yankee Stadium (7:05 p.m. ET/ YES Network) against the Royals (16-24).
Hiroki Kuroda (3-5, 4.50 ERA) will pitch Monday for the Yankees. Kuroda is 3-1 with a 3.08 ERA at Yankee Stadium this season, but 0-4, 6.23 on the road.
Kansas City will pitch Felipe Paulino (1-1, 1.93).
AL East Standings
Here are the pitching matchups for the rest of the series:
- Game 2, Tuesday: Phil Hughes, Yankees (3-5, 5.23) vs. Luke Hochevar (3-4, 7.02)
- Game 3, Wednesday: Andy Pettitte, Yankees (1-1, 2.51) vs. Luis Mendoza (2-2, 5.03).
First baseman Billy Butler (.297/8/31) leads the Kansas City offense.