NEW YORK (AP) — Felipe Paulino blanked New York for the second time in a month, and Mike Moustakas and Jeff Francoeur each hit two-run homers to lead the Kansas City Royals over the reeling Yankees 6-0 on Monday night.
New York’s bats fizzled once again, going 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position with five strikeouts and a foulout. Booed repeatedly by their increasingly impatient fans, the Yankees lost for the sixth time in seven games. At 21-21, they have their worst record at this point in the season since they started 20-25 in 2008 — the only time since 1994 that New York failed to make the playoffs.
Batting cleanup for the first time in his big league career, Moustakas homered in the first inning off Hiroki Kuroda (3-6), a drive that clanked high off the right-field foul pole.
Eric Hosmer added an RBI double in the third, and Francoeur homered into the visitor’s bullpen in the seventh on Freddy Garcia’s second pitch of the night as the Royals opened a nine-game trip by beating the Yankees for the third time in five meetings this year.
In a sign of the Yankees’ frustration, Garcia threw a run-scoring wild pitch in the eighth, then spiked the ball in disgust. In the sixth, Mark Teixeira put both hands on his head incredulously after throwing late to third on Irving Falu’s grounder instead of taking the sure out at first.
On a rainy, misty evening, Paulino (2-1) became the first starter to pitch shutout ball against the Yankees in consecutive outings since Boston’s Josh Beckett on April 10 and May 14 last year, according to STATS LLC. Following up on his six innings of four-hit ball on May 5, Paulino allowed six hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out eight and walked two.
Kuroda had his second straight poor outing, leaving his ERA at 4.56. He allowed three runs, seven hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings, failing to retire the side in order in an inning. After adding Andy Pettitte to the rotation and sending Garcia to the bullpen, pressure may increase on New York to make another move, such as signing free agent Roy Oswalt.
Paulino stranded a runner in the third base in the first when Raul Ibanez fouled out. The Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the third, but Robinson Cano took a called third strike, Alex Rodriguez struck out swinging and Ibanez flied out to the left-field warning track. The Yankees are 7 for 37 (.189) with the bases loaded this season, and the empty night at the plate left them 6 for 72 (.083) with runners in scoring position in their last nine games.
Russell Martin’s groundout stranded a runner at third in the fourth. New York advanced another runner to third with one out in the sixth, but Nick Swisher and Teixeira fanned. Then in the seventh, Cano hit into an inning-ending forceout with two on.
After missing three starts because of a bronchial illness, Teixeira was dropped as low as seventh in the batting order for the first time since May 2004 and went 1 for 4. By the time Derek Jeter hit a game-ending lineout, completing a seven-hitter, only a few thousand fans remained.