NEW YORK (AP) — Freddy Garcia pitched effectively into the seventh inning, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter provided the offense and the New York Yankees’ bullpen made it stand up in a 3-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.
Brett Gardner tripled and scored twice as the Yankees won for the eighth time in 10 games at home against the Royals. Kansas City has a major league-best 15 wins at Kauffman Stadium but dropped to just 3-9 on the road this season.
Garcia (2-2) gave up six hits and a pair of walks in six-plus innings to win for only the second time in nine decisions against the Royals. He outpitched Kyle Davies (1-5), who allowed three runs in five-plus innings for Kansas City.
Former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera provided the Royals with their only run, a solo homer to center field in the fourth inning that briefly tied the game.
Jeter had two more hits after his four-hit, two-homer game Sunday at Texas. He drove in the Yankees’ first run with a crisp single in the third inning.
A-Rod, who had been 5 for 27 with runners in scoring position, added a two-run single in the fifth. The hit followed a 9-for-55 slump for the Yankees’ cleanup hitter.
That little bit of offense was all the New York bullpen needed.
David Robertson pitched out of a jam in the seventh inning and Joba Chamberlain, getting the eighth instead of Rafael Soriano, set down the Royals in order. Mariano Rivera cleaned up the ninth for his 13th save of the season and 25th straight against the Royals.
It was a game of missed opportunities for Kansas City.
The Royals’ first series of mistakes came in the third inning, when Matt Treanor led off with a single. He left first base early trying to steal second and Garcia spun around to easily pick him off. Plate umpire Ed Hickox at first called the pitcher for a balk — it appeared Garcia might have stepped off the rubber backward — but was overruled by his fellow umpires.
It proved costly when Chris Getz singled moments later.
Getz made the second baserunning blunder of the inning when he tried to advance to second on a ball in the dirt. Catcher Russell Martin threw him out by about 3 feet.
Kansas City missed another opportunity in the fifth, putting two runners on with one out. Light-hitting Alcides Escobar struck out and Nick Swisher made a diving stab of a sinking liner off Getz’s bat in right field to end the inning.
The Royals also loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Robertson struck out Escobar and Getz to escape the inning, and Kansas City went quietly the rest of the way. Rivera made a nice stab to start a game-ending double play.
NOTES — Yankees RHP Phil Hughes plans to start throwing on flat ground Thursday. He had a cortisone shot about two weeks ago to relieve discomfort in his ailing right shoulder. Hughes has been on the disabled list since April 14. ... The Royals are putting LHP Bruce Chen (strained left side) on the DL and will recall RHP Vin Mazzaro from Triple-A Omaha to start Wednesday night.