for this game

Guillen's homer gives Royals split against Yankees

Jun 9, 2008 - 9:56 PM By Larry Fleisher PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Mariano Rivera was the last pitcher Jose Guillen wanted to face. Guillen did not get his wish, but guessed right and hit a home run that led to a victory for the Kansas City Royals.

Guillen completed a spectacular series by homering off Rivera to lead off the ninth inning Monday as the Royals edged the New York Yankees, 3-2, to gain a split of the four-game set.

Guillen hit his fourth home run in the series and has homered in three straight games for the first time since May 2004, when he did it twice in a week for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He batted .563 (9-for-16) in the series with 10 RBI and six runs scored.

The Royals hit two homers off Rivera (2-2), who previously had not allowed one since August 15. David DeJesus homered off Rivera on Saturday, but Joakim Soria blew his first save and the Yankees pulled out the 12-11 win, overcoming Guillen's grand slam and seven RBI.

Monday's win was just the fourth for the Royals in their last 21 games.

"It's always fun when you win," Guillen said. "When you're losing, it's not fun. You try to go there and try to help your team win. We had a five-run lead and we lost it (on Saturday) and it's not been easy for us. We won today, and it's a good thing to go home with a win."

Two days after Saturday's slugfest, Guillen connected on an 0-2 cutter from Rivera. His drive barely cleared the fence in left-center field and snapped a 2-2 tie.

"(Rivera's) the last guy I want to face coming into the ninth inning," Guillen said. "I was hoping it was somebody else, but I just put a good swing on that thing right there and he threw me four cutters. I was just staying on it and I was just kind realizing that he was going to come with that cutter."

"It was bad," Rivera added. "It was 0-2. The pitch wasn't where I wanted it to be."

After homering, Guillen pumped his right fist and Rivera shouted aloud in a rare emotional display.

"Mo's not used to giving up runs," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Mo has been perfect for us most of the year."

The Yankees (32-32) fell back to .500 for the 22nd time this season, but not before they almost pulled out a third final at-bat win in their last five games.

In the bottom of the ninth, New York had the bases loaded off Soria, who allowed an infield single to Alex Rodriguez, walked Jason Giambi with one out and plunked Chad Moeller with two outs.

Soria, who had converted his first 13 saves before Saturday, secured the win by retiring Melky Cabrera on a groundout to first and just beating the Yankees' center fielder to the bag.

"I just tried to run to first base," Soria said. "Melky's a fast runner. I was trying to run as fast as I can."

Soria's ability to escape the jam and Guillen's latest home run enabled rookie Yasuhiko Yabuta (1-0) to earn his first career win. The righthander came on with runners on first and second to face Bobby Abreu and retired him on a groundout to end the eighth.

That set the stage for Guillen, who faced three straight cutters and fouled off two. On the fourth pitch, he hit his first career home run in nine lifetime at-bats off Rivera, who for the first time this year appeared in a game for a third straight day.

"(Rivera) is what he is," said Royals manager Trey Hillman, who also was Rivera's first minor league skipper in 1991. "I don't need to tell you how great he is. It is nice to see what we did against a guy with such a low ERA."

The late-inning drama came on a third straight day of 90-plus degree weather at Yankee Stadium. Those conditions produced 32 runs in the previous two games, but the series finale belonged to starting pitchers Luke Hochevar and Mike Mussina, who traded zeros for six innings.

Bidding to become the first 10-game winner in the American League, Mussina allowed Miguel Olivo's two-run home run in the top of the seventh among seven hits in eight innings - his longest start since a complete game in Detroit on May 31, 2006. Mussina walked none and only threw 89 pitches.

Hochevar gave up a leadoff single to Johnny Damon, but then retired 14 straight from the first through the fifth. He was lifted after Rodriguez hit a long two-run home run in the seventh. Hochevar allowed only four hits in six-plus innings.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    KANSAS CITY 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 3 8 1
    NY YANKEES 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 6 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: KAN - LUKE HOCHEVAR, RAMON RAMIREZ (7TH), YASUHIKO YABUTA (8TH),
    JOAKIM SORIA (9TH) AND JOHN BUCK
    NYY - MIKE MUSSINA, MARIANO RIVERA (9TH) AND JOSE
    MOLINA, CHAD MO

    Jun 9 3:56 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JOSE GUILLEN (11) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 9TH OFF MARIANO RIVERA.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 3, NY YANKEES 2
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: A GORDON (.264, 1-FOR-3)

    Royals 3, Yankees 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 9 3:38 PM
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    Royals 3, Yankees 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 9 3:38 PM
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    Royals 2, Yankees 2  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 9 3:34 PM
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    Royals 2, Yankees 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 9 3:25 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ALEX RODRIGUEZ (10) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF LUKE HOCHEVAR SCORED BOBBY ABREU.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, NY YANKEES 2
    DUE UP FOR NY YANKEES: H MATSUI (.326, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals 2, Yankees 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 9 3:00 PM
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    Royals 2, Yankees 0  Bot 7, 0 OutsJun 9 2:57 PM


  • AL
    AT NY YANKEES - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MIGUEL OLIVO (8) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF MIKE MUSSINA SCORED JOSE GUILLEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: KANSAS CITY 2, NY YANKEES 0
    DUE UP FOR KANSAS CITY: J BUCK (.248, 0-FOR-2)

    Royals 2, Yankees 0  Top 7, 0 OutsJun 9 2:48 PM
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