The teams traded single runs in the 4th inning -- the New York run coming on Stephen Drew's 6th home run of the season -- and the Yankees got another in the 5th. But the 7th inning was the decisive one. Martin Prado homered for the 2nd straight game, his 9th of the year, part of a 4-run outburst. Jacoby Ellsbury added a homer in the 9th, his 11th -- and some of you were afraid he wouldn't reach double figures all season.
The big lead meant that Joe Girardi could, more or less, rest the bullpen in spite of Pineda still working his way back up to full fitness. Pineda pitched into the 7th, and David Huff held the Royals scoreless the rest of the way.
Yankees 8, Royals 1. WP: Pineda (3-2). No save. LP: Shields (12-7).
And then the Yankees began the regularly-scheduled part of their roadtrip: 3 games in Detroit against the Playoff-contending Tigers, followed by 3 games in Toronto against the hopeless, but probably still pesky, Blue Jays.
Brandon McCarthy started for the Yankees. He was okay for 5 innings, but fell apart in the 6th. Rick Porcello was really on his game for the Tigers, allowing only 2 runs, both solo homers by Ellsbury (giving him 13 round-trippers on the season).
Tigers 5, Yankees 2. WP: Porcello (15-8). SV: Joe Nathan (28). LP: McCarthy (8-13).
With 32 games to go, the Yankees are 7 games behind the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East, and 3 1/2 games (3 in the loss column) behind the Seattle Mariners for the 2nd AL Wild Card spot.
It's still possible that the Yankees can make the Playoffs.
The series with the Tigers continues tonight at Comerica Park. Shane Greene starts for us, David Price for them.
Come on you Bombers!