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Kansas City at New York

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Kansas City (17-26)000110001391
N.Y. Yankees (23-21) «30203000x880

A-Rod, Pettitte lead Yanks past Royals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- On Tuesday night, after another mediocre game at the plate, Alex Rodriguez insisted he was ready to go on a tear.

He knew what he was talking about.

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A-Rod gave Will Smith a rude welcome to the major leagues Wednesday night, hitting two home runs off the rookie to back another strong start for Andy Pettitte and lead the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 8-3.

"I said it with conviction not because it was going to sound good here in my locker but because I felt it," Rodriguez said. "It's good to back that up."

Rodriguez snapped a 52 at-bat homerless drought and drove in three runs for New York. Curtis Granderson also connected off Smith and the Yankees scored three times in the fifth with help from some inept relief pitching.

Derek Jeter had three hits to tie Paul Waner for 15th with 3,152. Before Jeter singled in the eighth, Waner had been the only player who reached a bigger hits milestone than Jeter in a Yankees uniform. "Big Poison" got only one hit with New York, his final one in a career spent mostly in Pittsburgh.

New York scored as many as three runs in the first inning for the first time in 31 games since April 19 and finished a 3-3 homestand. The Yankees start a 10-game trip at Oakland on Friday following their first back-to-back victories since taking three in a row from May 10-12.

Pettitte (2-1) followed eight innings of four-hit ball against Cincinnati with seven-plus crafty innings in his third start since coming out of retirement. He gave Smith a lesson in mixing pitches and working out of difficult situations.

"I feel like I'm moving the ball around the zone and that makes it difficult to hit," Pettitte said.

In the third inning, first baseman Mark Teixeira started a double play with a diving stop. Pettitte got out of a bases loaded jam in the fourth with a strikeout -- one of his eight Ks -- giving a slight fist pump walking off the mound.

"He's as good as I've ever seen over there," Pettitte said about Teixeira.

Pettitte gave up seven hits, including homers to Billy Butler and Mitch Maier. The 39-year-old left-hander has not lost to Kansas City since 1999. In 24 games against the Royals, he is 14-3.

"I faced him before he retired and now after he came back, and I actually see things different that he's doing," Butler said. "He's throwing more off-speed stuff, more curveballs and changeups. Before it was 90 to 94 with hard cut in on you. You knew he was throwing it and he knew you knew he was throwing it, and it was going to beat you. But he's crafted his game and his last two starts have been great."

Smith (0-1), a 22-year old called up from Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday -- not the actor with a movie coming out this weekend -- started off with an out for the scrapbook: He got Jeter to hit a grounder to shortstop. But it was rocky the rest of the first for the lefty who was two months shy of 6 when Pettitte made his debut in 1995.

"I was nervous a little bit, facing a future Hall of Famer to start your career, in Derek Jeter," Smith said. "That was cool at the same time, but you still got to go out there and make your pitches and get people out."

Granderson homered to deep right on a 1-2 pitch. TV showed Smith's mom in the stands shaking her head: welcome to the big leagues, son. After a walk to Teixeira, A-Rod crushed a ball into the left-field stands for a 3-0 lead.

By the time Nick Swisher hit a pop up with two outs, Smith's mom couldn't watch: she had covered her face with her hands. It was an out, mom.

When Rodriguez connected in the third to center field, mom sat stunned with her hands behind her head.

"She was nervous. She's been like that since I was in high school," Smith said. "She and my dad ... my dad used to pace around the stadium. They always get nervous and always will be."

Rodriguez had only one RBI since he last homered and drove in three runs on May 6 at Kansas City, 15 games ago. It was Rodriguez's 60th multihomer game.

Smith was lifted after giving up a one-out single in the fourth. He yielded five runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings. Luis Mendoza, the pitcher originally slated to start Wednesday night, relieved.

Rodriguez came up in the fifth with the bases loaded and grounded into a fielder's choice. Jeter, who bunted for a hit, was forced out at home.

The Yankees came in 8 for 41 (.195) with the bases loaded but they didn't need a hit in that situation in the fifth to score their runs. The Yankees walked three times and were twice hit by pitches in the inning. Robinson Cano had an RBI fielder's choice -- a nice diving stop by shortstop Alcides Escobar -- and Andruw Jones and Teixeira, back in the 3-hole after two games batting seventh, walked to force in runs.

"It's a club that a lot of times works the count really well and is going to have its share of walks," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Eric Hosmer went 3 for 4 with an RBI to raise his average to .191 for the Royals.

Notes

  • The Royals dropped to 4-3 in the deciding game of series this season.
  • New York went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position, leaving the Yankees 9 for 85 (.106) in their past 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 previous 22 games, Alex Rodriguez had only one home run and four RBI. He belts two with three RBI on Wednesday.  (AP)
In his previous 22 games, Alex Rodriguez had only one home run and four RBI. He belts two with three RBI on Wednesday. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Kansas City

E. Hosmer
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Kansas City Royals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Alex Gordon, LF3000101 .235
Johnny Giavotella, 2B4000011 .179
Billy Butler, DH4111000 .299
Jeff Francoeur, RF4010011 .259
Mike Moustakas, 3B4000031 .279
Alcides Escobar, SS4120010 .305
Eric Hosmer, 1B4031000 .191
Humberto Quintero, C4000025 .230
Mitch Maier, CF4121021 .208
Totals35393110  
Batting
2B - Alcides Escobar (13, Phelps), Eric Hosmer (6, Phelps)
HR - Billy Butler (9, Pettitte), Mitch Maier (2, Pettitte)
RBI - Billy Butler (32), Eric Hosmer (21), Mitch Maier (5)
SB - Eric Hosmer (2, 2nd base off Pettitte/Martin)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Giavotella-Escobar-Hosmer, Escobar-Hosmer
E - Mike Moustakas (4, Throwing)
Kansas City Royals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Will Smith (L,0-1) 3.1655113 13.50
Luis Mendoza 1133200 5.66
Jose Mijares 0.1000000 2.37
Louis Coleman 1.1000120 2.63
Greg Holland 1000310 7.59
Jonathan Broxton 1100010 2.16
HBP - Nix (by Luis Mendoza), Swisher (by Jose Mijares)
Pitches-Strikes - Will Smith 54-30, Luis Mendoza 21-8, Jose Mijares 8-4, Louis Coleman 21-14, Greg Holland 26-10, Jonathan Broxton 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Will Smith 4-4, Luis Mendoza 2-0, Jose Mijares 1-0, Greg Holland 1-1, Jonathan Broxton 1-1
Batters Faced - Will Smith 16, Luis Mendoza 6, Jose Mijares 2, Louis Coleman 5, Greg Holland 6, Jonathan Broxton 4
New York Yankees
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Derek Jeter, SS5130000 .348
Curtis Granderson, CF4221121 .256
Mark Teixeira, 1B2201301 .226
Alex Rodriguez, 3B4223014 .281
Robinson Cano, 2B4001001 .297
Nick Swisher, RF2000100 .236
Andruw Jones, DH2011200 .226
Russell Martin, C4000017 .173
Jayson Nix, LF3100010 .227
Totals3088775  
Batting
2B - Derek Jeter (10, Smith)
HR - Curtis Granderson (14, Smith), Alex Rodriguez 2 (7, Smith, Smith)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (25), Mark Teixeira (21), Alex Rodriguez 3 (18), Robinson Cano (18), Andruw Jones (9)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rodriguez (2), Andruw Jones (4)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Teixeira-Jeter
New York Yankees
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Andy Pettitte (W,2-1) 7722182 2.53
David Phelps 2211020 2.87
Pitches-Strikes - Andy Pettitte 98-71, David Phelps 40-24
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Andy Pettitte 9-3, David Phelps 4-0
Batters Faced - Andy Pettitte 28, David Phelps 8
Game Information
Attendance - 40407
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Mike Muchlinski, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Mark Wegner