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Kansas City at New York

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Kansas City (55-68)0100010000000283
N.Y. Yankees (65-58) «00000020000013101

Reeling Yankees stage walk-off win in 13th against Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Brett Gardner didn't feel any pressure stepping to the plate in the 13th inning, the game tied and fans restlessly booing each failure by Alex Rodriguez and the rest of the Yankees' high-powered hitters.

Why should he? The way the bullpen was going, it seemed as if New York was going to win eventually.

"I got behind 0-2 in a period of 15 seconds and I was like, 'Oh no, not this again,"' Gardner said. "I was fortunate to get a pitch to hit."

Gardner singled through the left side of the infield with two outs, driving in Robinson Cano and giving New York a much-needed 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

The Yankees won for just the second time in eight games, clinging to their playoff hopes. They began the day 10½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East and seven back of the Boston Red Sox for the wild card, with time running out to avoid missing the postseason for the first time since 1993.

"I don't care who ended it, we needed to win this game," Derek Jeter said. "It would have been a rough one for us to lose. We had so many opportunities. At this point, it doesn't make a difference how it looks. We need to get wins."

Cano singled with one out in the 13th off Jeff Fulchino (0-1), just the third hit allowed by Royals relievers. Ivan Rodriguez moved up Cano with a groundout and Gardner slapped a single past third baseman Alex Gordon. The throw from left fielder David DeJesus to the plate was wide, and Cano scored easily.

Gardner had a career-high three hits, a day after rejoining the Yankees when Melky Cabrera was sent to Triple-A. Earlier this season, shortly after making his major league debut, Gardner hit a game-winning single in the 10th off Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon.

"It's not like you're down one run. There isn't really any pressure on you," Gardner said. "If you get a hit, great, everybody loves it. If not, well, that's what we've been doing for the last eight innings anyway, so we go back out and play defense in the 14th."

New York relievers allowed just one hit after Sidney Ponson left in the seventh inning, and David Robertson (3-0) got out of a jam in the 13th to pick up the win.

"We asked a lot of innings out of them," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "The bullpen just came in and shut the door. Everybody threw the ball great."

Gordon homered and Esteban German drove in the other run for the Royals, who lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Kansas City still can win the season series from the Yankees for the first time since 1999 with a victory on Sunday.

The game lasted 4 hours, 53 minutes, and both teams appeared drained after a night game Friday that was delayed more than 90 minutes by rain. Yankees batters struck out a season-high 13 times, the teams combined for seven double plays and committed four errors, through some generous scoring prevented that number from being much higher.

"It was a crazy game," said Royals starter Zack Greinke, "especially with the amount of sleep everyone had to work with."

The shoddy fielding spoiled a splendid start by Greinke, who had been 0-2 with an unsightly 14.90 ERA in three appearances at Yankee Stadium.

The 25-year-old right-hander abhors waking up for day games, but was sharp in allowing two runs -- both unearned -- and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. It was his first start since serving a five-game suspension for hitting Nick Swisher of the White Sox with a pitch during a testy game on Aug. 3.

Ponson was just as good for New York, working out of several jams and yielding only two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He still hasn't lost in 11 home starts since joining the Yankees.

Kansas City jumped ahead on Gordon's second-inning homer, and for a while one run was plenty.

Mixing a mid-90s fastball with a hard slider, Greinke struck out the side in the first and didn't allow a hit until Johnny Damon's leadoff single in the fourth.

The Royals added a run in the sixth when Guillen reached on a fielder's choice and Ponson loaded the bases with a pair of walks. German followed with a sacrifice fly.

The Yankees finally rallied with two outs in the seventh when Cano hit an RBI triple off the wall in right and scored on Greinke's wild pitch.

"We didn't do the things executionwise and approachwise that we needed to do," said Royals manager Trey Hillman, "and we wasted some great stuff by Zack Greinke."

Notes

  • Yankees slugger Jason Giambi is 0-for-7 this series and has stranded 10 baserunners.
  • DeJesus was back in the lineup after missing two games with a sore back.
  • Yankees INF Cody Ransom made his big league debut in the seventh, pinch-running for Giambi.
  • Babe Ruth died 60 years ago at age 53, just over two months after his last visit to Yankee Stadium, when his number was retired.
 
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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Robinson Cano (left) and Johnny Damon finally have a reason to celebrate.  (US Presswire)
Robinson Cano (left) and Johnny Damon finally have a reason to celebrate. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
New York

R. Cano
AB 6
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
New York

B. Gardner
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, LF6020012 .291
Mike Aviles, SS-2B6000025 .318
Mark Teahen, RF4020200 .252
Jose Guillen, DH6100005 .252
Alex Gordon, 3B4111212 .256
Ross Gload, 1B4000113 .269
Esteban German, 2B1001000 .222
    Tony Pena, SS2000001 .158
John Buck, C5000024 .219
Mitch Maier, CF5030000 .352
Totals4328257  
Batting
2B - David DeJesus (19, Ponson), Mark Teahen (21, Ponson)
HR - Alex Gordon (14, Ponson)
SF - Esteban German (2)
RBI - Alex Gordon (50), Esteban German (16)
CS - Mark Teahen (3, 2nd base by Robertson/Rodriguez), Mitch Maier (1, 2nd base by Ramirez/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - German-Aviles-Gload, Aviles-German-Gload, Gordon-Aviles-Gload, Pena-Gload
E - Alex Gordon 2 (14, Throwing), Tony Pena (8, Misplayed grounder)
Kansas City Royals
Zack Greinke 6.2620250 3.92
Ramon Ramirez 0.2100210 2.81
Robinson Tejeda 2.2000240 3.66
Joel Peralta 2100120 5.40
Jeff Fulchino (L,0-1) 0.2211010 9.45
HBP - Rodriguez (by Robinson Tejeda)
WP - Zack Greinke (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Zack Greinke 104-64, Ramon Ramirez 26-12, Robinson Tejeda 48-28, Joel Peralta 43-27, Jeff Fulchino 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Zack Greinke 11-3, Ramon Ramirez 1-0, Robinson Tejeda 1-2, Joel Peralta 2-2, Jeff Fulchino 1-0
Batters Faced - Zack Greinke 27, Ramon Ramirez 5, Robinson Tejeda 10, Joel Peralta 8, Jeff Fulchino 4
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, DH6010035 .316
Derek Jeter, SS6020012 .289
Bobby Abreu, RF5020121 .289
Alex Rodriguez, 3B5100124 .308
Jason Giambi, 1B2000111 .252
    Cody Ransom, PR-1B0000000 .000
   a- Wilson Betemit, PH-1B1000212 .261
Xavier Nady, LF5000125 .325
Robinson Cano, 2B6221014 .265
Ivan Rodriguez, C5000001 .287
Brett Gardner, CF5031100 .176
Totals463102713  
a-walked for Ransom in the 8th
Batting
2B - Brett Gardner (2, Greinke)
3B - Robinson Cano (3, Greinke)
RBI - Robinson Cano (55), Brett Gardner (8)
2-OUT RBI - Robinson Cano (18), Brett Gardner (4)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Jeter-Cano-Giambi, Rodriguez-Cano, Rodriguez-Jeter
E - Derek Jeter (9, Throwing)
New York Yankees
Sidney Ponson 6.1722221 4.19
Damaso Marte0000100 4.50
Brian Bruney 0.2000000 2.60
Jose Veras 1000110 2.72
Edwar Ramirez 1100020 3.60
Mariano Rivera 2000010 1.64
David Robertson (W,3-0) 2000110 5.48
HBP - German (by Sidney Ponson)
WP - Sidney Ponson (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 85-54, Damaso Marte 6-2, Jose Veras 17-10, Edwar Ramirez 14-10, Mariano Rivera 25-15, David Robertson 23-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 9-8, Jose Veras 1-1, Mariano Rivera 3-2, David Robertson 1-3
Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 29, Damaso Marte 1, Brian Bruney 1, Jose Veras 4, Edwar Ramirez 3, Mariano Rivera 6, David Robertson 6
Game Information
Attendance - 54180
Game Time - 4:53
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Kerwin Danley