Royals-Yankees Preview

The New York Yankees are mired in their worst three-game scoring slump in eight seasons.

They will try to end those woes against the pitcher that has been easiest to hit against in the majors.

The Kansas City Royals will send Wade Davis to the mound Wednesday night when they continue this four-game set at Yankee Stadium.

New York (48-42) has lost three straight - all at home - and has scored one run in every defeat. It's the first time the Yankees have scored one or zero runs in three straight contests since April 27-29, 2005, and they have not done it four times in a row since Aug, 9-12, 1990.

The Yankees didn't score after the first inning in Tuesday's 3-1 defeat. They opened that frame with three straight singles for a run and added another hit to load the bases with one out before failing to score again.

"Any time you put four hits in an inning, you think you'll get more than one run,'' said manager Joe Girardi, whose team managed two more hits the rest of the game.

It's possible New York could break out against Davis (4-7, 5.42 ERA), who is allowing opponents to bat .322 - the highest mark in baseball.

Davis owns a 6.81 ERA on the road, and he's 2-4 with a 5.80 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees. He's had trouble with Ichiro Suzuki, 10 for 19 against him, and Brett Gardner - 6 for 13.

The right-hander has shown signs of improvement, allowing three runs or fewer in five of his last six starts. He gave up three over seven innings last Friday in his second straight defeat, 6-3 to Oakland.

Davis will try to follow up two strong efforts by Kansas City starters in the Bronx. Jeremy Guthrie yielded one run over 6 2-3 innings in Monday's 5-1 victory and James Shields allowed one in seven Tuesday.

The Yankees have given up 10 runs in this losing streak that followed a season-high six-game win streak.

"The last three games we've had great pitching performances and we haven't been able to score runs and it's frustrating,'' said Travis Hafner, who is in a 1-for-17 slide.

Ivan Nova (3-2, 4.09) will try to duplicate his effort from last Friday's three-hitter in a 3-2 victory over Baltimore. He will make consecutive starts for the first time since he went on the disabled list April 27 due to right triceps inflammation.

Nova is 1-1 with an 11.88 ERA in two career starts against Kansas City, with Billy Butler going 4 for 6 against him.

Butler has homered in the first two games of this series, marking the first time he has gone deep in consecutive games since Sept. 27-28.

"Got one yesterday, got one today,'' he said.

Kansas City (43-44) can move back to .500 for the first time since June 17. The Royals have won five of their last seven at New York.

New York's Vernon Wells, who hasn't started three of the last four games and is hitting .237, is 1 for 11 against Davis.