It may have been the first home game of the season, but Gothamist refuses to recognize it as Opening Day until Bob Sheppard shows up. Maybe that was the way the Yankees felt because they struggled for far too long before beating the Royals 9-7.

The Yankees charged out of the gate, taking a 4-1 lead, but missed a great opportunity to blow the game open in the fourth. For the second game in a row, Chien-Ming Wang was ineffective, struggling to throw strikes and giving up five runs in six innings.

Luckily, the Yankees were playing the Royals and not the Red Sox and even after Kansas City took a three-run lead New York wasn’t out of it. They loaded the bases with no one out in the eighth and after cutting the deficit to one, Derek Jeter came up. Jeter lined the first pitch he saw into the seats for a three-run homer and the Yankees had the lead back. Mariano Rivera came in for the ninth, and even though he put the tying runs on base, he shut Kansas City down and sent the crowd home happy.

Photo by AP/Kathy Willens