NEW YORK — Eric Hosmer and Melky Cabrera homered and the Kansas City Royals beat the Yankees 11-5 on Thursday night, sending New York to its first home series loss of the season.
Robinson Cano homered a day after he was hit in the head with a pitch, and Alex Rodriguez homered for the first time in 65 at-bats.
Sean O’Sullivan (2-2) retired his first 13 batters before running into trouble, but pitched into the seventh to give Kansas City its eighth win in 12 games, and knock the Yankees out of first for the first time since April 13.
New York lost for the sixth time in nine games and slipped a game behind Tampa Bay just as the archrival Boston Red Sox prepared to come to town for three games.
The Royals’ 16 hits were a season high. Ten of them came off Ivan Nova (3-3), who had the shortest start of his career.
Nova gave up Hosmer’s second career homer a night after the Royals’ promising rookie helped Kansas City snap a seven-game road losing streak with his first longball in a 4-3, 11-inning win.
Hosmer also drove in a run on a check-swing double that was his third hit of the night, helping the Royals win a series in the Bronx for the first time since 1999.
The Yankees got back four runs in the fifth inning, on Robinson Cano’s leadoff homer, Francisco Cervelli’s two-run double and Derek Jeter’s sacrifice fly.
O’Sullivan was lifted with two outs in the seventh after allowing Jeter’s single up the middle. He gave up four runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, without a strikeout.
Hosmer led off the Royals’ big second inning with a solo shot to right center field. Some careless play by the Yankees set up the Royals to score five runs with two outs, making it the worst inning by Yankees pitching all season.
Second baseman Cano’s throwing error on a double-play ball left Wilson Betemit safe at second and Matt Treanor at first. They both took a base on a passed ball by Cervelli, setting up Mike Aviles’ infield single to make it 2-0.
Cabrera followed with a double, and then took a big lead off the bag. Cervelli tried to throw behind him, but the ball skipped into center field and Aviles scored.
Billy Butler’s groundout and Jeff Francoeur’s single capped the inning and made it 6-0.
Although his defense didn’t help him any, Nova was hit hard from the start. He left after starting the fourth with a leadoff homer by Cabrera, a double by Gordon and an RBI single by Butler, who finished with four hits.
Four of the eight runs Nova allowed were earned and his 10 hits given up were a career worst. Nova’s previous shortest starts were two times he went 4 1-3 earlier this season. In one of those, April 9 at Boston, he allowed a career-high seven hits.
Amaury Sanit pitched 4 2-3 innings in relief of Nova. The 31-year-old Cuban made his major league debut, allowing four hits and three runs. He also hit two batters with pitches and threw a wild pitch.
Royals pitchers didn’t record a single strikeout.