KANSAS CITY — Isiah Kiner-Falefa came to the Bronx with big expectations of himself. Having grown up a Yankee fan, it was a childhood dream come true with the Bombers traded to acquire him from the Rangers.

His career in pinstripes began like a nightmare as he struggled in the field and at the plate. Now he has clearly settled in and has embraced the dream.

Sunday, Kiner-Falefa went 1-for-3 with an RBI and scored two runs, including getting their seventh inning rally started as the “fireplug” of the lineup. After starting the season going 1-for-17 with four strikeouts and an error, Kiner-Falefa has been on base safely for the last 13 straight games.

He’s become a sparkplug at the bottom of the lineup, getting on base for the power bats at the top of the lineup.

“I feel like in every run we scored today he was a big part of it,” Aaron Judge said after Sunday’s game against the Royals. “From that big RBI double, to get on base and then scoring on my little check swing bunt down the first base line.

“But I’ve been really impressed with having a guy like that near the bottom in order to kind of get turned over and get to the top of the lineup has been huge for us.”

With a .342 on-base percentage, Kiner-Falefa has set the table for the offense a lot. He’s scored 14 runs this season, third on the team behind Judge and Anthony Rizzo and tied for 15th in the majors. During his 13-game on-base streak, Kiner-Falefa has slashed .372/.408/.442 with an .850 OPS. He’s hit three doubles, walked four times, driven in seven runs, stolen two bases and scored 10 runs.

He’s a big reason the Yankees finished April with the best record in baseball. It’s all something he’s embracing.

“What we’re going through now is something I’ve never experienced,” Kiner-Falefa said. “So just showing up to the field every day, I’d want to come to the field, I want to hang out with my teammates, and I think that’s the biggest thing and the coolest thing is the camaraderie.

“And I think we can keep building, sky’s the limit, we’re gonna have a bumpy road, but we know that’s gonna happen and we’re just gonna stick with it. And we got to pick each other up.”


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