The Yankees went 2 for 16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 15 overall. So it was little wonder they fell 4-3 in 11 to the Royals.
They wasted A.J. Burnett’s one-run, one-hit work over seven, although he did walk five and hit one.
The bats continue to be a problem.
“The bottom line is we’re better than this, and right now we’re struggling offensively,” Joe Girardi said. “You’ve just got to keep going at it. You’ve got to keep putting guys on and eventually you know it’s going to turn.”
Robinson Cano went for a CT scan after Nathan Adcock drilled him in the helmet in the fifth inning. It came back negative, and Cano is day to day.
Burnett came back the next inning and drilled Jeff Francoeur in the back, but he pleaded innocent to any charges of retaliation. It did put the potential tying run in scoring position.
“The thing of it is I know Jeff, too, so that’s even worse,” Burnett said. “You know somebody and end up hitting them. But balls get away. I had five, six walks tonight, so I wasn’t exactly pinpoint.”
Royals manager Ned Yost wasn’t buying it. Asked if he thought Burnett threw at Francoeur on purpose, Yost said, “Of course. We didn’t hit their guy on purpose. Ours was an accident. That’s just the way the game goes.”
Burnett lowered his ERA to 3.38 after holding a team to three earned runs or less for the sixth time in eight starts in what could be a bounce-back year, although he got off to a decent beginning last season as well.
Eric Hosmer, who was named the top Royals prospect and the fifth-best in baseball coming into the season, hit his first big-league homer off him in the fourth.
“He’s going to hit a lot of them,” Yost said. “The first one had to be somewhere. I guess it’s good that it was here.”
David Robertson was frustrated with himself after walking two and letting the tying run score on an RBI single by Wilson Betemit in the eighth.
“The last thing I want to do is blow the game for A.J.,” Robertson said. “He dealt tonight, kept us right there in the ballgame, gave us the ball in the eighth with a one-run lead. I’ve got to be better than that. I’ve got to be able to get those three outs.”
This was the Yankees’ first extra-inning loss to the Royals since 1999.
The Yankees starters have a 2.88 ERA to show for their last 22 games.
Jorge Posada broke a season-high seven game streak of no RBI.
In the series finale Thursday night, Ivan Nova and Sean O’Sullivan will be the starters.