KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Joba Chamberlain came trotting out of the bullpen to start the seventh inning, and tears came streaming down Harlan Chamberlain's weather-beaten face.
When his son's first pitch registered 99 mph on the radar gun, the older man whooped with glee and pointed toward the scoreboard yelling, "Ninety-nine! Ninety-nine!"
Joba did not disappoint his disabled father, who was seeing him pitch in the major leagues for the first time.
On an emotional moment Friday night that seemed to resonate through the entire New York Yankees team, Joba worked two scoreless innings to preserving a one-run lead in a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
"I imagined it. But to see it come to reality and fruition is totally amazing," Harlan said as he watched his son give up two hits and run his scoreless streak since he joined the Yankees to 14 1/3 innings over 11 games since making his debut on Aug. 7.
Disabled by polio when he was just 9 months old, the elder Chamberlain made the three-hour drive from his home in Lincoln, Neb., on Friday, along with many other family members.
"To work as hard as he has and to be on this stage, it's such a blessing," he said.
The 54-year-old Chamberlain, who is confined to a motorized scooter and lacks full use of his left arm, pumped his right hand into the air when left fielder Johnny Damon ran down Billy Butler's drive with one on and two outs in the eighth.
"Surrounded by loved ones -- it just makes it that much more enjoyable," he said through tears.
Before the game, Joba said the love and respect is mutual.
"If I can be half the man and half the father he was, I'll be very, very happy and have a great life," he said.
Afterward, Joba said he'd been able to concentrate on the game and shut out every sight, sound and emotion but one.
"I heard my sister," he said. "For some reason, that's one of those voices where you're just like, `Oh, gosh. There she is.' I wasn't even trying to hear it. That's one of those high-pitched voices you hate to hear."
He was pumped with adrenaline, he said, "but it was a good adrenaline."
And he was not surprised that his dad broke into tears at the sight of his son in a Yankees uniform.
"No, not at all. Not one bit. He's as proud a father as anybody can be,' he said. "It's good. I'm glad to have him here. At least I got to pitch."
Rodriguez, limited to a designated hitter role Wednesday after spraining his ankle the previous night, returned to third base and homered for the sixth time in nine games, raising his major league-leading total to 49.
Ian Kennedy, another rookie, allowed two runs and seven hits in five innings. Last weekend, he beat Tampa Bay in his major league debut.
Rodriguez homered off Gil Meche in the second inning, moving past Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews with his 513th home run and gave him sole possession of 17th place. He also broke his own team record for home runs by a right-handed batter.
"It's certainly been a magical season," Rodriguez said. "I've felt it since spring training, and I just have to keep the ride going."
One out later, Posada hit his 19th homer and 11th home run in 23 at-bats.
Seven of the first 11 Royals reached against Kennedy, a 21-year-old right-hander. But then he retired the next seven in a row until Joey Gathright singled with two out in the fourth. Gathright was then thrown out trying to steal second.
Kansas City scored twice in the second with the help of a well timed hit-and-run. Alex Gordon -- Chamberlain's college teammate -- doubled leading off and scored on Jason Smith's single.
John Buck then grounded a single into right field which would have been a perfectly placed double-play ball if Smith hadn't broken for second on the pitch. As Smith ran, Robinson Cano lunged to his right toward the bag, and the ball scooted right past where the second baseman had been standing.
That brought home Gordon with the first run and put Smith on third. Then with one out, Mark Grudzielanek hit an RBI single.
Meche, who entered with the lowest run support of any qualifying AL pitcher, allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. He failed to get a win for the ninth straight start.
"I can't explain the fact that we just don't score for Gil," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "We had their guy on the ropes a couple of times and we just weren't able to do much."
As they walked out of the visitors clubhouse, Posada and Jeter went over to shake Harlan Chamberlain's hand.
"It was a pleasure to watch you guys play," Chamberlain said.
"We're trying to keep your son in line," said a grinning Jeter. "He listened to us for the first two weeks, but now he does what he wants."
Said the proud father: "Well, he still has to listen to me. You can remind him of that."
- RHP Roger Clemens could return to the mound in the Yankees series finale at Boston on Sept. 16. Clemens left Monday's start against Seattle after four innings and had a cortisone shot in his right elbow. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is 6-6 with a 4.45 ERA this season.
- The Yankees, who left the bases loaded in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings and stranded nine runners in scoring position.