It was only a week ago that the Yankees took three of four from the Royals in Kansas City, so there's not much to add here. Since then, the Royals swept the Rangers in K.C. by a combined score of 22-6 with Rutgers grad David DeJesus leading the attack. They then scored just nine runs while dropping two of three to the Twins in Minnesota where the fourth game of their series was cancelled out of respect for those killed in the recent bridge collapse. The Royals lone win of that series took ten innings and all three games were decided by two runs.
The Royals made one significant deadline deal, flipping Octavio Dotel to Atlanta for starter Kyle Davies, who will pitch tomorrow. Davies is a curious return for Dotel seeing as he's been consistently terrible in the major leagues and hadn't pitched since failing to get an out in his start against the Reds on July 16. Still, he won't be 24 until next month and Royals' GM Dayton Moore came from the Braves system, so perhaps he has reason to value Davies so highly. That or he's judging the pitcher on what he did in the low minors three years ago.
At any rate, Dotel's departure reinstates Joakim Soria as the closer. Davies and Leo Nuñez replace the released Scott Elarton and disabled Jorge De La Rosa (elbow) in the rotation (the Yanks will miss Nuñez in this series), and Joey Gathright replaces the once again disabled Reggie Sanders (hamstring) on the bench.
For those who have forgotten, the Yankees took the first three games last week's series in K.C. by a combined 25-7 score, but the third game was just 3-1 after seven innings and saw the Yankees go hitless with runners in scoring position even after dropping an additional four-spot on tiring starter Gil Meche and reliever Jimmy Gobble. The Yanks were then shutout by De La Rosa, Zack Greinke, and Soria in the finale as Kei Igawa and Sean Henn combined to allow seven runs.