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Yankees 4, Royals 2

The SportsXchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Robinson Cano homered and Hiroki Kuroda pitched into the eighth inning as the New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 4-2 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep at Kauffman Stadium.

After Chris Stewart singled with one out in the third, Cano blasted his team-leading 10th homer deep to right field, erasing a 1-0 deficit. Vernon Wells followed two pitches later with a solo homer down the left-field line, his ninth homer of the season, to increase the Yankees' lead to 3-1.

Kansas City scored a first-inning run when Jarrod Dyson led off with a double, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Alex Gordon's sacrifice fly. After Dyson's hit, Kuroda (5-2) retired the next 12 straight Royals hitters and allowed just one baserunner past first before Elliot Johnson doubled to lead off the eighth.

Kuroda beat Kansas City for the first time in his third career start against the Royals. In 7 2/3 innings, he gave up six hits and two runs, walking one and striking out one. Kuroda has won five of his last seven starts.

The Yankees added a run in the fifth when Brett Gardner doubled and Wells brought him in with a two-out single down the left-field line for a 4-1 advantage. Wells was 3 for 4 and has nine hits in his last 21 at-bats.

The Royals cut the lead to 4-2 in the eighth when Johnson doubled, advanced on a fly to center and then scored on Alcides Escobar's grounder to short. After Gordon followed with a two-out double, Kuroda was replaced by David Robertson, who retired Billy Butler to end the threat.

Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth to convert his major league-leading 15th save in as many tries.

Ervin Santana (3-2) suffered his first loss since April 3, throwing 6 1/3 innings and allowing four runs, eight hits and no walks with four strikeouts. Santana has gone at least six innings in each of his seven starts this year and has allowed just one walk in his last four starts.

It was the first time the Royals have been swept in a series this season and was the second series sweep by the Yankees, who have a season-high five-game winning streak. New York has won each of its last five games against Kansas City, dating to May 2012.

NOTES: The Yankees are 15-0 when scoring first and 17-4 when scoring at least four runs. In 2012, the Yankees were 59-27 when scoring first and 83-27 when scoring at least four runs. ... Rivera was honored in a pregame ceremony before the series finale. Rivera has converted each of his last 28 save opportunities against the Royals, with his last blown save coming Aug. 18, 1998, at Kauffman Stadium. ... Yankees and Royals pitchers have each allowed just 87 walks, tied with Seattle for second fewest in the American League behind Minnesota (78) ... DH Billy Butler's fourth-inning homer Saturday was the Royals' first coming from the cleanup spot in the lineup. The Royals were the last major-league team to get a home run from the cleanup spot. Royals cleanup hitters have a major league-worst ,290 slugging average.
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