Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Brett Gardner LF
Ramiro Pena 3B
RHP Phil Hughes (13-5, 3.92)
Hughes vs. Royals
Gregor Blanco CF
Jason Kendall C
Billy Butler 1B
Wilson Betemit 3B
Kila Ka’aihue DH
Alex Gordon LF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Mitch Maier RF
Chris Getz 2B
RHP Sean O’Sullivan (1-3, 5.05)
O’Sullivan vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m. / YES Network
UMPIRES: HP Fieldin Culbreth, 1B Mike Muchlinski, 2B Gary Cederstrom, 3B Ed Hickox
WEATHER: Supposed to be in the high 80s tonight, with rain possible around midnight. I can’t begin to tell you how much I do not want another rain delay.
MORE THAN ONE TOOL: Speedster Brett Gardner leads the Yankees with nine outfield assists, including one last night. He’s tied for the second-most outfield assists in the big leagues behind Jose Bautista, who has 10. Seven of his assists have come in left field, the second most left field assists in the majors behind Delmon Young, who has eight.
D-R-K J-T-R: Derek Jeter has gone 50 straight games without an error. According to Elias, it’s the longest streak of his career. He leads all Major League shortstops with a .990 fielding percentage.
ONE AND DONE: The Yankees past five games have been decided by one run. They are 2-3 in those games. Nine of their past 10 losses have been by three runs or less.
UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: For completely unknown reasons, I’ve been surprisingly swamped through the first three innings of this game. Phil Hughes allowed back-to-back hits in the first inning, and so far that’s been enough for a 1-0 Royals lead. The Yankees had put a runner in scoring position with one out the past two innings, but they haven’t been able to score.
UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Sean O’Sullivan has kept the Yankees scoreless through four. He’s shown a pretty good changeup, and good changeups seem to have given the Yankees problems this year.
UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: Double by Brett Gardner, bunt single by Ramiro Pena and a run-scoring double play by Derek Jeter. Not exactly the way you draw it up, but enough to tie the game at 1.
UPDATE, 8:48 p.m.: Phil Hughes hasn’t been overpowering or overwhelming the Royals, but he’s pitched pretty well, and he’s through five innings with one run.
UPDATE, 8:51 p.m.: Home run No. 19 for Alex Rodriguez has the Yankees in front 2-1.
UPDATE, 8:57 p.m.: There goes No. 13 for Jorge Posada. Mark it down as a 3-1 Yankees lead with one out in the sixth.
UPDATE, 8:59 p.m.: No. 11 for Curtis Granderson. He made it back-to-back homers and a 4-1 lead.
UPDATE, 9:22 p.m.: Home run by Wilson Betemit was obviously legit, but now Hughes as the bases loaded on an infield single, a bloop single and a routine fly ball that was lost in the lights.
UPDATE, 9:25 p.m.: Grounder to first was too slow for double play or an out at the plate. Kind of a tough-luck inning for Hughes and the Royals are back in it, down 4-3.
Meanwhile, Gregor Blanco chokes up on the bat more than I did in Little League. It didn’t do me a lot of good. It’s made him a .206 hitter in the big leagues.
UPDATE, 9:35 p.m.: Rodriguez goes deep again, this one a two-run shot, and the Yankees have their three-run lead back. It’s 6-3 in the seventh.
UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: Hughes is finished, his first no-strikeout start of the year. It’s Chamberlain pitching with a 6-3 lead in the seventh. Boone Logan is getting loose.
UPDATE, 9:50 p.m.: Sure, it helps that Butler is running, but that’s a nice play by Pena. That reputation as a defensive wiz is well earned.
UPDATE, 10:22 p.m.: That’s the third three-homer game of Rodriguez’s career. His first since 2005. It’s an 8-3 game.