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Kansas City at New York

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Kansas City0000100113100
N.Y. Yankees «13000005x9120

Royals still can't win at Yankee Stadium as Bombers roll

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Randy Johnson came out because he stiffened up a bit -- or maybe he was just a little tired. Depends who you listen to. One thing is certain, though, the New York Yankees had fun facing Kansas City pitching.

Johnson won despite lasting only five innings, and New York got home runs from Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi and Johnny Damon to polish off a three-game sweep of the Royals with a 9-3 victory Thursday.

"We all knew it was only a matter of time before the offense started to come around," Giambi said. "I think guys finally started to relax a little bit. Now we're coming up with that big hit, driving in that big run."

The Yankees built a 4-0 lead for Johnson, pulled after 87 pitches. New York manager Joe Torre said the 42-year-old lefty got a little stiff, but didn't think there was any "structural" problem.

"I think this is just a freak thing," Torre said.

Johnson (2-1) first said he simply tired a bit, then agreed the trouble could be called stiffness in his right shoulder. Pitching coach Ron Guidry described it as just "general tiredness."

"Everything's fine. Everything's good," said Johnson, who told Guidry he was done after the top of the fifth. "It's early in the year.

"Just take a little breather and let the bullpen come in. They did a nice job," Johnson added. "I don't need to go out there every time and pitch seven, eight innings."

He and Torre both said they expect Johnson to make his next start. General manager Brian Cashman also said he wasn't concerned.

On the mound, the Big Unit looked sharp. He has 16 strikeouts and no walks in three starts. He had never gone two starts into a season without walking a batter.

Bernie Williams, who finished with three hits, and Robinson Cano each had an RBI single off Denny Bautista (0-1) for the Yankees, who have won 14 straight home games against Kansas City -- a streak that dates to August 2002.

The loss matched the Royals' record for consecutive defeats in an opposing ballpark, set at Detroit's Tiger Stadium from August 1987 to May 1990.

"This is a good time to get out of here," manager Buddy Bell said.

Featuring a biting slider, Johnson cruised into the fifth with a four-run lead. He had allowed only one hit and faced one more than the minimum.

But with two outs, the Royals strung together three hits. Shane Costa poked an 0-2 pitch to left-center for an RBI single.

Johnson retired Tony Graffanino to end the inning and never came out for the sixth. Scott Proctor worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings, and Mike Myers fanned Costa with two on to end the seventh.

Graffanino homered against Tanyon Sturtze leading off the eighth, cutting it to 4-2.

Alex Rodriguez doubled leading off the bottom half, and Giambi's two-run shot to center off Jimmy Gobble made it 6-2.

Damon added a three-run drive into the right-field upper deck, his first homer with the Yankees, and came out for a curtain call for the crowd of 54,381. He had four RBI.

Every New York starter had a hit for the second consecutive day. The Yankees have scored 40 runs in winning four straight overall.

Kansas City dropped its fourth in a row.

Johnson pitched to Kelly Stinnett, who used to catch the left-hander in Arizona as well. Torre said before the game he might stick with that combination if it works well.

John Flaherty was Johnson's personal catcher last season, and Torre acknowledged that Johnson and regular starter Jorge Posada didn't work well together -- perhaps because of their different personalities, the manager said.

But Torre and Posada said Thursday there was no issue or problem between the star pitcher and catcher.

Sheffield began to refocus Wednesday on using the entire field, and he did a good job of that again in the first inning Thursday with a home run to right-center. It was his second homer in two days and the 452nd of his career, tying Carl Yastrzemski for 27th on baseball's career list.

The Yankees opened the second with four straight singles and pushed the lead to 4-0. Williams had his 1,200th RBI, seventh on the club's career list behind six Hall of Famers.

"I messed up a couple of pitches in the second inning, but I felt pretty good," Bautista said. "They got lucky there. A couple of groundballs and a couple of bloopers, too, but that's the game."

Notes

  • Kansas City began the day with a 7.23 ERA, worst in the majors by more than half a run.
  • Giambi has reached base safely in 14 of his past 18 plate appearances.
  • The Yankees have won 22 of 24 against Kansas City at home since the start of the 2000 season.
  • Royals OF David DeJesus missed his fifth consecutive game with tightness in his left hamstring.
 
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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Johnny Damon puts on the finishing touches with a three-run home run, his first as a Yankee.  (AP)
Johnny Damon puts on the finishing touches with a three-run home run, his first as a Yankee. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

B. Williams
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Kansas City

D. Mientkiewicz
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Kansas City Royals
Tony Graffanino, DH5111015 .200
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4010010 .333
Emil Brown, LF4000011 .241
Reggie Sanders, RF4000020 .290
Angel Berroa, SS4010010 .259
John Buck, C3100101 .211
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B4130000 .269
Esteban German, 3B4031002 .500
Shane Costa, CF4011014 .250
Totals3631031713 
Batting
2B - Esteban German (1, Villone)
HR - Tony Graffanino (1, Sturtze)
RBI - Tony Graffanino (1), Esteban German (1), Shane Costa (3)
2-OUT RBI - Shane Costa (1)
Team LOB - 7
Kansas City Royals
Denny Bautista (L,0-1) 5644171 4.09
Andrew Sisco 1100120 15.75
Steve Stemle 1000000 9.82
Jimmy Gobble 1555112 24.00
HBP - Giambi (by Denny Bautista)
Pitches-Strikes - Denny Bautista 90-54, Andrew Sisco 23-13, Steve Stemle 10-6, Jimmy Gobble 39-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Denny Bautista 1-6, Andrew Sisco 1-0, Steve Stemle 2-1, Jimmy Gobble 1-1
Batters Faced - Denny Bautista 22, Andrew Sisco 5, Steve Stemle 3, Jimmy Gobble 9
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF4114021 .324
Derek Jeter, SS5010011 .314
Gary Sheffield, RF5111011 .256
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3110120 .294
Jason Giambi, 1B3222011 .308
    Andy Phillips, 1B0000000 .000
Hideki Matsui, LF3110121 .371
    Bubba Crosby, LF0000000 .000
Bernie Williams, DH4231000 .323
Robinson Cano, 2B4011002 .273
Kelly Stinnett, C2110112 .200
Totals3391293109 
Batting
2B - Alex Rodriguez (1, Gobble)
HR - Johnny Damon (1, Gobble), Gary Sheffield (3, D. Bautista), Jason Giambi (2, Gobble)
SF - Johnny Damon (1)
SH - Kelly Stinnett (1)
RBI - Johnny Damon 4 (7), Gary Sheffield (9), Jason Giambi 2 (8), Bernie Williams (4), Robinson Cano (4)
2-OUT RBI - Johnny Damon 3 (3), Gary Sheffield (2)
CS - Alex Rodriguez (1, 2nd base by D. Bautista/Buck)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Cano-Giambi
New York Yankees
Randy Johnson (W,2-1) 5411050 2.25
Scott Proctor (H,1) 1.1200000 2.45
Mike Myers (H,1) 0.2100010 0.00
Tanyon Sturtze (H,1) 1111011 8.10
Ron Villone 1211100 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 87-60, Scott Proctor 13-9, Mike Myers 15-11, Tanyon Sturtze 20-11, Ron Villone 25-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 3-7, Scott Proctor 2-1, Tanyon Sturtze 2-0, Ron Villone 1-2
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 19, Scott Proctor 5, Mike Myers 3, Tanyon Sturtze 4, Ron Villone 6
Game Information
Attendance - 54381
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Terry Craft, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Paul Emmel