New York at Kansas City

Scoreboard
N.Y. Yankees (5-5) «0011200026120
Kansas City (6-3)100000000180

Pettitte, A-Rod power Yankees past Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Once again, Andy Pettitte came up big when the New York Yankees needed to win.

Pettitte picked up his first victory and Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera each had a home run and two RBI, helping the New York Yankees defeat the Kansas City Royals 6-1 on Thursday night and avoid a series sweep.

"Andy knows how to win big games," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I don't know if I would call this a big game, but you don't want to be swept at the start of an eight-game road trip."

Pettitte (1-1) held the Royals to one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings, and is 7-0 in his past nine starts against them. He has a career record of 12-4 with a 3.06 ERA against Kansas City, which is his best earned run average against any American League club.

After throwing 31 pitches in the first inning, when the Royals managed their only run off him, Pettitte needed only 61 pitches through the next 5 2/3 innings.

"I didn't have much at all the first couple of innings," Pettitte said. "I was extremely fortunate to get through that, thank goodness. ... My command was extremely bad early on and I was just very fortunate to get away with some balls I left over the plate.

"I really just started feeling good midway through the third inning and felt like I got into a really good rhythm. ... That was good to see, hopefully I can carry this one into my next one."

Cabrera tied the game at 1 with a solo home run in the third, driving a 1-2 pitch to left off John Bale, the first left-hander the Yankees have faced this year.

The Yankees seized a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Jorge Posada, who led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on Hideki Matsui's base hit, scored when Jose Molina grounded into a double play.

Cabrera and Rodriguez each had an RBI in the fifth. Cabrera's single scored Morgan Ensberg, and Johnny Damon scored on Rodriguez's fielder's choice grounder after his own infield single.

"Everyone contributed tonight," Girardi said. "That's how you want your offfense to work."

Rodriguez and Posada added back-to-back home runs in the ninth off Hideo Nomo, who replaced Bale for his first appearance in the majors since July 15, 2005, while with Tampa Bay.

"Our team desparately needed a win today," Rodriguez said. "We're on the road. We lost two tough games. It's good to sneak one out here and go into Boston with some momentum."

Nomo, who is making a comeback at 39 and after having elbow surgery in 2006, worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. He then got through the eighth without any damage before giving up the homers to Rodriguez and Posada with two out in the ninth.

Rodriguez increased his career RBI total to 1,510, moving him one ahead of Mickey Mantle and into 45th place on the all-time list. His home run was his 175th as a Yankee, tying him for 19th on the Yankees all-time list.

"The good thing about passing guys like Murcer and Mantle is that I'm passing them and they're not passing me," Rodriguez said. "That means I'm still wearing pinstripes."

Bale (0-2) left after six innings, allowing four runs and eight hits with a walk while striking out three.

"John hasn't had a lot of run support," Royals manager Trey Hillman said. "Nomo got hit hard in his last inning of work. He said he felt fine after the eighth. He maintained his velocity."

Jose Guillen's two-out double in the first scored Mark Teahen for the Royals' only run.

The Yankees, who were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position in the first two games of the series, went 2-for-8 on Thursday night. They are 13-for-74 with runners in scoring position in the first 10 games of the season.

Notes

  • The Yankees have gone 10 games into the season without a stolen base for the first time since 1948, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. In 1948, they didn't have any until a double-steal by Phil Rizzuto and Tommy Henrich in New York's 17th game.
  • Rain delayed the game twice for a total of 28 minutes.
  • Royals DH Billy Butler singled in the seventh to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
 
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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In his latest return to the majors, Hideo Nomo keeps the Royals in the game ... until the ninth.  (AP)
In his latest return to the majors, Hideo Nomo keeps the Royals in the game ... until the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

M. Cabrera
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, LF5110011 .211
Melky Cabrera, CF5122000 .320
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4112100 .297
Jorge Posada, DH4221111 .238
Hideki Matsui, RF5010013 .314
Jose Molina, C4020000 .318
Robinson Cano, 2B3000101 .179
Morgan Ensberg, 1B4120013 .375
Alberto Gonzalez, SS3010001 .333
Totals37612534  
Batting
2B - Jose Molina (4, Bale)
HR - Melky Cabrera (2, Bale), Alex Rodriguez (2, Nomo), Jorge Posada (1, Nomo)
SH - Alberto Gonzalez (1)
RBI - Melky Cabrera 2 (3), Alex Rodriguez 2 (7), Jorge Posada (3)
2-OUT RBI - Melky Cabrera (1), Alex Rodriguez (3), Jorge Posada (1)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Rodriguez-Ensberg
PB - Jose Molina (1)
New York Yankees
Andy Pettitte (W,1-1) 6.2511210 3.09
Joba Chamberlain (H,3) 1.1200020 0.00
Mariano Rivera 1100000 0.00
WP - Andy Pettitte (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 92-58, Joba Chamberlain 24-18, Mariano Rivera 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 10-7, Joba Chamberlain 1-1, Mariano Rivera 1-2
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 25, Joba Chamberlain 6, Mariano Rivera 4
Kansas City Royals
Joey Gathright, CF4000001 .194
Esteban German, 2B3000111 .000
Mark Teahen, LF4130010 .344
Jose Guillen, RF4011013 .162
Billy Butler, DH3010100 .400
Alex Gordon, 3B4010003 .297
Ross Gload, 1B4010001 .333
John Buck, C3000001 .222
   a- Miguel Olivo, PH1000001 .200
Tony Pena, SS2000000 .037
   b- Alberto Callaspo, PH-SS1010000 .400
Totals3318123  
a-flied out for Buck in the 9th
b-singled for Pena in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Guillen (2, Pettitte)
RBI - Jose Guillen (5)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Guillen (4)
PK - Alex Gordon (1, Pettitte)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - German-Gload
Kansas City Royals
John Bale (L,0-2) 6844131 5.84
Hideo Nomo 3422212 6.00
WP - Hideo Nomo (1)
Pitches-Strikes - John Bale 86-58, Hideo Nomo 65-37
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Bale 11-3, Hideo Nomo 5-3
Batters Faced - John Bale 26, Hideo Nomo 15
Game Information
Attendance - 16143
Game Time - 2:52
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Jeff Kellogg, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Chad Fairchild