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Kansas City at New York

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Kansas City0000501107122
N.Y. Yankees «201000005890

Yankees rally with five-spot in ninth to take down woeful Royals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- The Yankees bounded out of their dugout, celebrating as if they had just won a postseason game. A ninth-inning error by the Kansas City Royals turned what should have been a distressing New York loss into a memorable comeback.

Jeremy Affeldt threw away a potential game-ending double play ball, giving the Yankees the opportunity they needed. New York then rallied for five runs on five clutch hits that followed the error, beating the Royals 8-7 Saturday.

"The bottom line is it's never over until the last out," said Derek Jeter, whose two-run single pulled New York within a run. "If you've done something before, you always think you can do it again."

New York, which remained tied with Oakland for the AL wild card lead, moved a season-high 16 games over .500. The Yankees, 61-37 following an 11-19 start, have come from behind in 32 of their wins.

"I think when we saw that window of opportunity on the double play, we felt we had a chance," said Alex Rodriguez, whose single ended the game.

Buddy Bell, who managed the Royals to a three-game sweep over the Yankees when he took over the club in May, was disgusted by the display.

"That was just poor - execution-wise, attitude-wise, location-wise and position-wise," he said. "It just wasn't very good. We've got to finish the game."

The Royals were ahead 7-3 when Affeldt came in to start the ninth. He walked Jason Giambi, then struck out Bernie Williams. Jorge Posada hit a bouncer back to the mound, and Affeldt turned to throw to second. But the throw was low and wide, and shortstop Angel Berroa dropped the ball.

Affeldt, who seemed to slip on the resin bag as he threw the ball, sat disconsolate in front of his locker after the game and made no excuse.

"The bottom line is I blew it," he said. "It was a routine double play. I can't look anybody in the eye right now. It was an embarrassment."

Matt Lawton, acquired from the Chicago Cubs earlier Saturday, then loaded the bases with a single and Tino Martinez, pinch hitting for Robinson Cano, singled to cut the deficit to 7-4.

Jeter followed with a two-run single past a diving Berroa, Hideki Matsui flied out, and Gary Sheffield tied the score with a two-out double. Rodriguez followed with the winning single for the Yankees, who had just four hits going into the ninth.

"It looked like they needed oxygen for the first eight innings," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "And then they suddenly came to life."

Shawn Camp (1-3) gave up the hits by Jeter, Sheffield and Rodriguez to take the loss. Alan Embree (2-5) worked a scoreless inning in relief for the win.

Emergency Kansas City starter J.P. Howell allowed four hits in six-plus innings, and the Royals erased an early 3-0 deficit and appeared set to beat New York for the fourth time in five games this season. Mike Sweeney and Terrence Long drove in two runs apiece as Kansas City scored five times with two out in the fifth off Jaret Wright.

Wright had retired nine of his previous 10 batters when Berroa singled leading off the fifth. After Mark Teahen flied out, Paul Phillips beat out an infield hit and David DeJesus walked.

Denny Hocking popped out on the next pitch, but Sweeney hit a two-run double just past Rodriguez and down the third-base line. Long followed with a two-run single for a 4-3 lead as Sweeney slid home ahead of the throw from Lawton. Wright threw a wild pitch, allowing the fifth run to score.

Sweeney hit an RBI single in the sixth off Aaron Small, and Paul Phillips drove in another run with a two-out single in the eighth.

New York took a 2-0 lead in the first on Matsui's RBI double and Giambi's sacrifice fly, and Sheffield hit into a run-scoring double play in the third.

Notes

  • The crowd of 54,452 was the 37th sellout in 67 games at Yankee Stadium this season.
  • Leadoff man DeJesus was on base four times with two singles and two walks.
  • Wright threw 109 pitches in six innings, 69 for strikes.
  • The Royals had three infield hits.
  • Lawton's brother, Marcus, played for the Yankees in 1989. They are the sixth set of brothers to play for the Yankees, joining Felipe and Matty Alou, Joe and Phil Niekro, Al and Mark Leiter, Melido and Pascual Perez, and Billy and Bobby Shantz.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter enjoy the Yankees' comeback win over the Royals.  (AP)
Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter enjoy the Yankees' comeback win over the Royals. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

D. Jeter
AB 2
R 3
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Kansas City

M. Sweeney
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
 
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF3220203 .293
Denny Hocking, 2B5010014 .231
Mike Sweeney, 1B5123013 .300
Terrence Long, LF5112002 .279
Emil Brown, DH4010022 .283
Aaron Guiel, RF4110011 .143
Angel Berroa, SS4120021 .262
Mark Teahen, 3B3000122 .230
Paul Phillips, C4121001 .250
Totals3771263919 
Batting
2B - Mike Sweeney (32, Wright)
RBI - Mike Sweeney 3 (67), Terrence Long 2 (46), Paul Phillips (6)
2-OUT RBI - Mike Sweeney 2 (27), Terrence Long 2 (14), Paul Phillips (5)
CS - Angel Berroa (5, 2nd base by Small/Posada)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Teahen-Hocking-Sweeney
E - Jeremy Affeldt (1, Wild throw), Denny Hocking (2, Wild throw)
Kansas City Royals
J.P. Howell 6433430 7.23
Andrew Sisco (H,12) 1000020 2.48
Ambiorix Burgos 1000100 3.55
Jeremy Affeldt 0.1242110 4.83
Shawn Camp (BS,2; L,1-3) 0.1311000 7.48
WP - J.P. Howell (4)
Pitches-Strikes - J.P. Howell 91-53, Andrew Sisco 14-8, Ambiorix Burgos 19-8, Jeremy Affeldt 22-13, Shawn Camp 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - J.P. Howell 7-6, Ambiorix Burgos 2-1, Jeremy Affeldt 1-0
Batters Faced - J.P. Howell 24, Andrew Sisco 3, Ambiorix Burgos 4, Jeremy Affeldt 5, Shawn Camp 4
New York Yankees
Derek Jeter, SS2312301 .313
Hideki Matsui, LF5121002 .302
Gary Sheffield, DH5021001 .296
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4011112 .315
Jason Giambi, 1B2101101 .266
Bernie Williams, CF4010012 .257
Jorge Posada, C4100011 .251
Matt Lawton, RF3110111 .268
Robinson Cano, 2B3000022 .271
   a- Tino Martinez, PH1011000 .246
    Tony Womack, PR0100000 .244
Totals338976613 
a-singled for Cano in the 9th
Batting
2B - Hideki Matsui (33, Howell), Gary Sheffield (26, Camp)
SF - Jason Giambi (1)
RBI - Derek Jeter 2 (53), Hideki Matsui (98), Gary Sheffield (99), Alex Rodriguez (103), Jason Giambi (53), Tino Martinez (48)
2-OUT RBI - Gary Sheffield (26), Alex Rodriguez (47)
CS - Robinson Cano (1, 2nd base by Howell/Phillips)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Jeter
New York Yankees
Jaret Wright 5755250 6.39
Aaron Small 2.2522130 3.41
Alan Embree (W,2-5) 1.1000010 7.14
WP - Jaret Wright (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 109-69, Aaron Small 57-35, Alan Embree 21-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaret Wright 3-7, Aaron Small 1-2, Alan Embree 2-1
Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 24, Aaron Small 12, Alan Embree 4
Game Information
Attendance - 54452
Game Time - 3:33
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Joe West, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Mark Carlson