Some breaks and a Cano home run lead Yanks to win over Royals
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, May 23- Alex Rodriquez struck out with the bases loaded and the New York Yankees still were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position. But Phil Hughes (4-5) gave up five hits in six innings, striking out seven. And the Yankees were able to get some breaks that have not gone their way in defeating the Kansas City Royals 3-2 in the Bronx Tuesday evening.
“I hope it carries over tomorrow,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi who saw his club snap a three-game losing streak. The finale of the home stand and series with the Royals is Wednesday night before New York embarks on a nine-game three-city trip that takes them to Oakland, Los Angeles and Detroit.
A two-run, fifth inning saw the Yankees break a skid that had them 0-for- 15 with the bases loaded. Derek Jeter banged a single to left that scored Mark Teixeira who led off the inning with a single and took second on an error by right fielder Jeff Francoeur. That tied the score at 2-2.
Teixeira batted seventh for the second straight game, a move Girardi made to hopefully spark some offense. In that inning the breaks came when Francoeur bobbled the ball, Russell Martin was hit by a pitch, and Dewayne Wise reached base on a bunt that fooled the Royals.
Curtis Granderson, 3-for-13 on the current six-game home stand followed with a fielder’s choice that scored Russell Martin for the Yankees second run.
Before that, the Royals reached Hughes for their two runs. Humberto Quintero hit a run scoring double in the third and Jeff Francouer hit his second home run of the series, third of the year, a solo shot to left.
“It seemed like nothing was a walk in the park tonight,” commented Hughes. In the eighth, with Girardi using four relievers out of the pen, before Rafael Soriano closed the game in the ninth, earning his third save, Clay Rapada induced Mike Moustakas to hit into an inning ending double play.
Robinson Cano also homered for New York. It was his third in 12-career at bats against Royals starter and loser (3-5) Luke Hochevar, who entered the game with a 8.83 ERA , 0-2 in four career starts against the Yankees. That put the first run on the board for the Yankees in the fourth.
“He did a great job during that inning,” said Royals manager Ned Yost about his starter. “They really didn’t hit the ball hard and they made a perfect bunt. Jeter is great at finding holes. He limited the damage big time in the fifth inning, but I thought that he pitched a darn good game.”
Rodriquez, 1-for-4, struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth inning before Cano was walked intentionally.
“It wasn’t that pretty, but that was a good win,” he said. “It felt really good to win a game like this. Sometimes you need a game like this to kind of get you on a roll. Hopefully, it’s a good sign of things to come. We haven’t been winning these kinds of games.”
Andy Pettitte, (1-1) makes his third start for New York since his return in the series finale Wednesday evening.
e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com
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