Now, the right-hander has a chance to help his original team reach its first postseason since 1985.
Released by the defending World Series champion Angels two weeks ago, Appier will make his second start for the Royals since his return, and his first at Kauffman Stadium, in the finale of a three-game series with the New York Yankees.
Appier, the Royals’ most consistent starter from 1989-99, never came close to reaching the playoffs during his first tour with Kansas City. However, he reached the postseason with the A’s in 2000, and helped the Angels win the World Series last October.
After going 7-7 with a 5.63 ERA in 19 starts for Anaheim this year, Appier was released. The Royals did not hesitate to bring him back to Kansas City, signing him last week and giving him the ball Friday night at Tampa Bay.
Appier was reached for two runs and five hits over five innings as the Royals were blanked 4-0 by Tampa Bay starter Jeremi Gonzalez.
“It was pretty good,” Appier said of his outing. “The only unfortunate thing is it wasn’t good enough today. How many would be if a guy throws a shutout against us?”
Kansas City is hoping Appier can recapture the form that saw him reach double digits in wins in six of his first 10 years in the majors.
“He’s a battle-tested warrior,” Royals assistant general manager Muzzy Jackson said. “He’ll go out and take the ball for you and, on that day, you know you’ve got a chance to win that game.”
The Royals took Monday’s series opener 12-9, but were unable to break through against right-hander Mike Mussina on Tuesday. Mussina tossed eight brilliant innings and Jorge Posada went 4-for-5 with a homer as New York snapped a three-game losing streak.
Kansas City had a three-game winning streak stopped.
STANDINGS: Yankees - 1st place, AL East. Royals - 1st place, AL Central.
YANKEES PROBABLE STARTER: Jeff Weaver (6-8, 5.44 ERA). Weaver, by far the most ineffective of New York’s five starters, was reached for five runs and nine hits over 4 2-3 innings in the Yankees’ 9-7 win over Seattle on Friday. The right-hander has surrendered at least five runs in three of his last four outings. Weaver is 4-5 with a 3.06 ERA in 12 career appearances, including 11 starts, against the Royals.
ROYALS PROBABLE STARTER: Appier (7-8, 5.53 ERA). Appier is 57-44 with 16 complete games and a 3.45 ERA in 136 career appearances at Kauffman Stadium.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Yankees - Derek Jeter, .322 avg.; Jason Giambi, 34 HRs and 91 RBIs; Alfonso Soriano, 83 runs and 28 SBs. Royals - Raul Ibanez, .297 avg.; Carlos Beltran, 18 HRs, 70 runs and 30 SBs.; Ibanez and Beltran, 71 RBIs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 1-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Yankees - C Posada, who had his ninth career four-hit game Tuesday, is 6-for-10 through the first two games of the series. … LHP David Wells, who left Monday night’s game after three innings with an ailing back, will undergo an MRI exam in New York on Wednesday. LHP Sterling Hitchcock will take his next scheduled start Saturday if Wells can’t go. … 3B Aaron Boone snapped an 0-for-17 skid with a single Tuesday. Royals - The Royals designated 2B Carlos Febles for assignment Tuesday and gave his roster spot to INF Mendy Lopez. … Kansas City has lost 10 of its last 12 home games against New York. … RHP Appier is 8-9 with a 4.26 ERA in 24 career starts against the Yankees.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Yankees - 38-22 on the road; Royals - 32-28 at home.
INJURIES: Yankees - RHP Jose Contreras (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Karsay (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Gabe White (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Jon Lieber (elbow), 60-day DL. Royals - OF Michael Tucker (leg), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Lima (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Kyle Snyder (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Miguel Asencio (elbow), 60-day DL.