Home field advantage. It's playing a major factor in every game the Yankees play at the new Yankee Stadium. Tuesday night's game was no different.
Before the game started, the Yankees held a pre-game ceremony to honor Derek Jeter for his 2,722th hit to break the all-time Yankee record and Mariano Rivera for getting 500 saves back in June. Former Yankees like Tino Martinez, David Cone, Tim Raines, Reggie Jackson and Yogi Berra were on hand for the ceremonies.
A.J. Burnett was on the mound for the Yankees in his final regular season start, and he was pitching with a heavy heart. Burnett's father recently had triple-bypass surgery in Arkansas and instead of making Monday's start, Burnett was pushed to Tuesday, so he could fly home to be with his family.
Burnett started out in a great rhythm and breezed through the first two innings with no problem.
In the third inning, two runners got on base and Billy Butler hit an RBI single to right to put the Royals up 1-0. Burnett got the final out in the third to prevent anymore damage.
For Kansas City, Anthony Lerew was making his second start, keeping the Yankees scoreless through the first five innings, until Mark Teixeira drilled his 39th home run of the season into the right field seats to tie the game at 1-1.
Burnett left the game with a runner on base in the top of the seventh and got a standing ovation for his third straight strong pitching performance.
Phil Coke relieved Burnett in the seventh, but ran into some trouble.
With runners on, Coke had the ball hit back to him by Josh Anderson. Coke went to turn a double play, but hooked the ball by Jeter, which allowed a runner to score to make it 2-1 Kansas City.
Coke had another ball hit back to him by Mitch Maier with one out, and instead of throwing home, he threw to first, so the runner at third scored to make it 3-1.
In the bottom of the seventh, Nick Swisher drilled his 28th home run to deep center field to cut the lead to 3-2, so the Yankees weren't dead yet.
In the bottom of the ninth, a former Yankee was making his return to the Bronx, and he wasn't exactly well liked. That former Yankee was pitcher Kyle Farnsworth.
Francisco Cervelli reached on an infield single with one out and Eric Hinske hit a pinch hit single to put runners on first and third with one out.
Robinson Cano hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly that nearly could have been a home run to dead center field to bring in Cervelli and the game was now tied at 3-3.
With Johnny Damon up, Hinske took off for second and the throw to second went into the outfield. Hinske hustled into third, meaning it would just take a single to win the game.
Johnny Damon walked and then got to second on defensive indifference, which put the game in the hands of rookie Juan Miranda.
Miranda hit a line drive up the middle, which bounced off Farnsworth's foot, rolled into foul territory for an infield single and scored Hinske. In the end, the Yankees had come from behind again to beat the Royals 4-3.
Miranda hit the 15th walk-off hit for the Yankees and got a pie in the face from Burnett.
Speaking of Burnett, he pitched a solid game going 6 1/3, allowed three hits, two runs, walked three and struck out eight.
Brian Bruney (5-0), who pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, picked up the win.
The Yankees won their 102nd win of the year and with the Red Sox losing, are now 10 1/2 games up in the A.L. East division, a feat they secured on Sunday.
The Yankees will play their final regular season home game tomorrow when they send up Joba Chamberlain, who will look to refine his mechanics before the postseason and get his 10th win of the season against the Royals, who will send up Robinson Tejada.