He may be having a down year, but after three homers and five RBI last night, Alex Rodriguez leads all of baseball with 97 RBI. A-Rod's efforts also led to the Yankees 72nd with of the year, an 8-3 beating of the Kansas City Royals.
Phil Hughes started for the Yankees, and was pretty. The right-hander allowed three runs on nine hits, walked one, and did not strike out a batter over six innings. He probably should only have given up two, but a routine popout was lost in the lights and led to the run in the 6th. His start was good enough for his 14th win--second most in the league--of the year, as the Yankees continued to give Hughes some of the best run support in the league.
As I already mentioned, A-Rod did most of the damage, banging out four hits, including three homers, driving in five, and stealing a base. His first bomb coming in the top of the 6th to break a 1-1 tie. Curtis Granderson and Jorge Posada also hit back-to-back homers in the inning to extend the Yanks lead to 4-1.
The homer was Granderson's only base hit of the game, but he's making much better contact since he made those adjustments to his swing and has struck out just once in the last five games, which for him is quite a feat.
After KC responded with two runs off Hughes in the bottom half, A-Rod launched his second homer, a two-run shot and came an inning later to push the Yanks lead to 6-3.
Homer number three came in the 9th, another two-run shot making it 8-5.
It was another good night for the Yankees bullpen. Joba Chamberlain threw a 1-2-3 7th, Boone Logan and David Robertson took care of the 8th, and Sergio Mitre finished off the game with a 1-2-3 9th. It's amazing how quickly things can change in this game, but a bullpen that was once a major problem on this team is now a strength, and with Alfredo Aceves on his way back you have to assume it will only get better.
Tampa and Boston both won so no ground was gained, but at least another game was knocked off the schedule.
The Yanks look to make it three out of four from the Royals tomorrow afternoon. A.J. Burnett will be on the mound for the Yanks with Bryan Burllington starting for KC. First pitch is set for 2:10 pm, and the game will be on YES.