By MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Robinson Cano homered, Phil Hughes beat Kansas
City for the second time this month and the New York Yankees _
still looking to bust out with the bats _ eked out a 3-2 victory
over the Royals on Tuesday night.
Derek Jeter delivered a bases-loaded single that tied the score
in the fifth inning and New York rallied from an early two-run
deficit to snap a three-game skid. Shut out Monday in the series
opener, the Yankees (22-21) went 2 for 7 with runners in scoring
position, one night after they finished 0 for 13 in those
situations for their worst performance with RISP since 1990.
New York, which had lost six of seven to drop into a last-place
tie with Boston in the AL East, now has eight hits in its last 79
at-bats (.101) with runners in scoring position.
Hughes (4-5) gave up five hits in six innings while striking out
seven, beating Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar (3-5) for the
second time in 17 days.
The Yankees caught a break when Mike Moustakas lined into a
double play to end the eighth. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for
his third save, retiring Alcides Escobar with a runner on third to
end Kansas City’s five-game winning streak away from home.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez fielded Escobar’s grounder behind
the bag and made a high throw across the diamond, but Mark Teixeira
stretched out his 6-foot-3 frame and kept his toe on the bag at
first as New York got the call on a bang-bang play.
Cano put the Yankees on the scoreboard with a long solo homer in
the fourth, making him 6 for 12 with three home runs and nine RBIs
against Hochevar _ including a grand slam May 6 in Kansas City.
New York tagged Hochevar for seven runs and seven hits over 2
1-3 innings in that outing and he entered Tuesday night 0-2 with an
8.83 ERA in four career games against the Yankees.
He hung tough this time, coughing up a 2-0 lead but keeping
Kansas City in it when the Yankees appeared poised to finally break
Teixeira, batting seventh for the second consecutive game,
singled through the shift to start the fifth and went to second
when Jeff Francoeur bobbled the ball in right for an error. Russell
Martin was hit by a pitch and Dewayne Wise reached safely on a
perfectly placed bunt single even though the Royals were expecting
Once again, the Yankees had the bases loaded and none out with
big hitters coming up. They came up empty in that situation during
Monday night’s 6-0 defeat, but not this time.
Jeter dumped an RBI single into right and Curtis Granderson
drove in a run with a groundout, giving New York a 3-2 lead.
Cano was intentionally walked to load the bases for Rodriguez,
and the Yankees had a chance to really bust it open. But then
Rodriguez struck out, drawing boos from the crowd of 37,674, and
Raul Ibanez went down swinging as well.
Kansas City grabbed an early lead when No. 9 batter Humberto
Quintero went the other way on Hughes’ hanging curve for an RBI
double in the second.
Francoeur added a solo shot in the fourth to make it 2-0, his
third homer this season and second in two nights at Yankee Stadium.
Hughes has served up 11 home runs in 47 1-3 innings this year.
He has allowed at least one in all nine starts, the longest streak
by a Yankees pitcher since Jack McDowell in 1995.
NOTES: Kansas City put 2B Chris Getz on the 15-day disabled list
with a ribcage injury and called up LHP Will Smith from Triple-A
Omaha. Irving Falu started at 2B and likely will platoon there with
Johnny Giavotella while Getz is sidelined, manager Ned Yost said.
… Hall of Fame 3B George Brett, Bo Jackson and Mike Sweeney are
among the former Royals players on the roster for the Legends &
Celebrity Softball Game during All-Star festivities at Kauffman
Stadium in July. … Yankees closer Mariano Rivera walked through
the clubhouse without crutches but said surgery for his torn knee
ligament has not been scheduled yet. Rivera said the last time he
had a checkup, the blood clot in his calf was still there. He is
taking medication for the clot and doing exercises to strengthen
the knee for surgery. … LHP Andy Pettitte starts the series
finale Wednesday night for New York against RHP Luis Mendoza.
Pettitte pitched eight shutout innings Friday night against
Cincinnati in his second start since coming out of retirement.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)