KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's games like this that make a team feel almost invincible.
"We feel like we can win every game," said Johnny Damon, who had a two-run single in the Yankees' biggest inning in more than a year. "That's a great feeling when you can go out and build and say regardless, we can score two runs here, three, four. Ten is a stretch. But this team is made to win a championship."
Jorge Posada started the rally with a two-run homer off reliever Jimmy Gobble. Robinson Cano capped it with a three-run drive, and the AL East-leading Yankees had just their third win in their last eight tries in Kansas City.
"It just looks like we're just not going to be able to generate anything, and all of a sudden it starts building up," manager Joe Torre said. "It's all about confidence. They don't feel like there's anything they can't do offensively. If there's just a little bit of a crack in the armor, we feel we can exploit it."
Royals starter Luke Hudson had struck out a career-high 10, the most by a Kansas City pitcher in five years, when he turned it over to Gobble in the eighth.
Posada cut the gap in half with his homer, and then Damon, a former Royal, greeted Andrew Sisco with a tying, two-run single.
Bobby Abreu lined a two-run double off the wall in straightaway center with one out for 7-5 lead, delighting a crowd of 27,123 that sounded pro-Yankees. Posada had an RBI single off Ambiorix Burgos, and Cano homered for an 11-5 lead. Abreu also had an RBI single in the fifth and a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
It was New York's biggest road inning since the Yankees scored 10 at Seattle on May 8, 2003.
"I'm going to try to get this one out of my system right now," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "The thing about this game is you play one every day. We'll be out there tomorrow."
The Yankees had been swept three games by the Royals last season when they made their previous trip to Kansas City.
"We're not clicking on all cylinders, and we're able to go out and do what we did tonight," Damon said.
T.J. Beam (2-0) got one out for the win as New York (82-54) moved a season-high 28 games over .500 and maintained a nine-game lead in the AL East over second-place Boston. Scott Dohmann (1-2), who loaded the bases with a walk to pinch-hitter Bernie Williams, was the loser.
Before the game, the Yankees said Mariano Rivera will miss the three-game series because of a muscle strain near his right elbow. The closer hasn't pitched since Thursday, and he wasn't needed in this one.
Until the eighth, the Yankees' lone run off Hudson came on Abreu's RBI single that tied it 1-1 in the fifth.
Derek Jeter stretched his hitting streak to 15 games and passed Phil Rizzuto for the most games played by Yankees shortstop with 1,648. He was 3-for-6 and raised his average to .344, two points behind Minnesota's Joe Mauer, the AL batting leader.
Mark Teahen drove in Kansas City's first run with an infield out in the first inning off Chien-Ming Wang and singled home David DeJesus with the tiebreaking run in the sixth.
DeJesus came sliding across the plate as catcher Posada lunged for the tag, and replays showed he might have missed the plate. Emil Brown followed with an RBI single.
Kansas City added two in the seventh off Ron Villone on RBI doubles by Mark Grudzielanek and Mike Sweeney.
- Hudson's 10 strikeouts were the most by a Royals pitcher since Blake Stein struck out 11 in 2001 at Minnesota.
- Posada's home run was his 192th, tying Tino Martinez for 12th on the Yankees career list.
- The Royals were expected to purchase the contract of RHP Jose Diaz from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday, and he would be their team-record 29th pitcher used this season.
- Jason Giambi was hit twice by pitches, and has been hit 14 times this season.