After coming back from a five-run deficit to defeat Texas on Wednesday, New York nearly blew a late lead on Thursday. CC Sabathia pitched 8.2 innings and New York survived a ninth inning rally to defeat Kansas City, 4-3, Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium.
New York played in their fourth consecutive one-run game, going 2-2 during the stretch. Kansas City lost for the eighth time in their last 10 games.
Trailing 4-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, Kansas City refused to go away quietly. After recording the second out of the inning with two runners on base, David Robertson relieved Sabathia. Willie Bloomquist greeted Robertson with a two-run single to right center to cut the deficit to one. Former Yankee Wilson Betemit’s infield single advanced the tying run to second base; however, Jason Kendall struck out to end the game.
Sabathia (15-5) tied Tampa Bay’s David Price for the American League lead in victories. He allowed three runs on 10 hits over 8.2 innings with three strikeouts and two walks. Despite allowing two hits in the ninth inning, Robertson earned his first save of the season.
Bruce Chen (7-6), who had won his last three starts, suffered the loss after allowing three runs on eight hits over five innings with two strikeouts and two walks. He dropped to 1-5 in his career against the Yankees.
New York opened the scoring in the top of the second. With runners at first and second and two outs, Curtis Granderson’s run-scoring single scored Robinson Cano for the first run. It was only Granderson’s third RBI since July 31.
The Yankees added single runs in the third and fourth innings. In the top of the third, Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher started the inning with consecutive singles before Jeter scored on Mark Teixeira’s sacrifice fly RBI. Austin Kearns gave New York a 3-0 lead with his first home run as a Yankee in the top of the fourth.
Kansas City got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth. After two outs, Alex Gordon doubled to deep center. He came around to score on Mike Aviles RBI single. New York added their final run in the top of the seventh on Alex Rodriguez’s RBI groundout.
New York and Kansas City will resume their four-game series on Friday night. Dustin Moseley (2-1, 3.86) will start for the Yankees, while the Royals will counter with Kyle Davies (5-7, 5.21). First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. ET.