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KC@NYY: Royals tally six runs in the second inning

NEW YORK -- If the Royals can make it there, they can make it anywhere. Isn't that how the song goes?

Look out, baseball, because by beating the Yankees, 11-5, on a chilly Thursday night, the Royals took a series in New York for the first time since 1999. They won two of the three games at Yankee Stadium, disappointing most of the 41,790 fans that made an early retreat from the series finale.

Eric Hosmer certainly made it here. The rookie had three hits in this victory, and his second home run in two nights launched a six-run second inning for the Royals. His first series in New York was a winner.

"I can definitely get used to it," Hosmer said. "It's fun when the crowd leaves early and you put up a good amount of runs on them in the first couple of innings."

Hosmer's drive into the right-field seats followed a similar path to the first homer of his career, on Wednesday night. It came on the first pitch of the inning by starter Ivan Nova, a right-hander.

"It felt good," Hosmer said. "I tried to get on the fastball early right there, and he came with it first pitch. I put a good swing on it, and fortunately enough, it went over and got us the lead and got us going."

Did it ever. A lot more happened between the home run and when Hosmer came up again, ending the second inning by lining out to right. Wilson Betemit singled and second baseman Robinson Cano made a throwing error. Mike Aviles and Melky Cabrera each had an RBI hit, and catcher Francisco Cervelli's errant pickoff throw scored a run, as did Jeff Francoeur's single.

Added up, it was six runs -- four of them unearned -- on five hits, a walk and two errors. And that was the Royals' biggest inning in New York since they scored eight runs in the top of the sixth on June 6, 1982. It was the fourth time the Royals have had at least six runs in an inning here.

Royals starter Sean O'Sullivan was presented with a 6-0 lead.

"It gave Sully a chance to go out with a little bit of a lead, a little bit of breathing room, a little bit of room for mistake and he did a great job until the fifth inning," manager Ned Yost said.

The Royals weren't through. Cabrera launched his second homer of the series to open the fourth inning, Alex Gordon lined a double and Billy Butler drove Gordon in with a single to finish off Nova and make it 8-0 Royals.

Not for long. O'Sullivan, perfect through the first 13 Yankees batters, suddenly turned imperfect. Cano, back from Wednesday's beaning, came up with one out in the fifth inning and crushed O'Sullivan's first pitch into the right-field stands.

It became a four-run inning with three more hits, including Cervelli's two-run double and a sacrifice fly.

Hosmer, who'd singled in the fourth inning, got back into action in the sixth. There were two outs with Butler on second base after the third of his four hits -- a single -- and a wild pitch, when Hosmer lined an opposite-field double to left on a checked swing to score Butler.

"It was funny," Hosmer said. "I saw the changeup and tried to hold back on it, and somehow, it found my bat. My eyes lit up when I saw it go into left field, and I was just running, trying to get to two."

Yankees reliever Amaury Sanit, making his big league debut, was still pitching in the eighth when the Royals loaded the bases -- the rookie hit two batters around Betemit's ground-rule double. Buddy Carlyle relieved Sanit, only to yield a two-run double to Alcides Escobar.

"Tack-on runs are always huge like that," Yost said.

Alex Rodriguez hit a solo homer to left in the Yankees' eighth off Blake Wood, who relieved O'Sullivan in the previous inning.

O'Sullivan worked 6 2/3 innings for the victory and Wood finished up, giving the Royals' overworked bullpen a huge break.

"We have such a poor track record here, it was nice to come out and get a good-sized lead, especially since we had to run so many [bullpen] guys out there last night," O'Sullivan said. "I knew coming into the clubhouse tonight I was going at least seven innings."

The last time the Royals had won a series in the Bronx was Aug. 17-19, 1999, when they also won two of three games.

It was a special delight for the Royals' Mike Aviles, who grew up in the Bronx and had a lot of family and friends in the stands.

"They definitely don't get to see this happening, but we're definitely a different team than we've been in recent years," Aviles said. "We have better chemistry, a good group of guys and we don't quit."

Indeed, since that 1999 series win, the Royals' series record was 0-13-1 in the Bronx, which, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, was the longest current streak of road series without a series victory by any team against a particular opponent.

"I've experienced a lot of failure here," Butler said, "but we just had confidence in ourselves and we just played our game. I think it's a statement for us. Throughout the whole season, we've been fighting. It doesn't matter who we're facing."

But it is especially nice when good things happen against the Yankees.

Maybe the Royals have made a brand-new start of it in old New York. Comments