Bronx, NY – Robinson Cano belted a solo home run, Phil Hughes pitched six strong innings and the New York Yankees posted a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals in the middle installment of a three-game series.
Hughes (4-5) gave up two runs on five hits, walked two and struck out seven. Rafael Soriano worked around a ground-rule double in the ninth to earn his third save of the season.
"I thought he used his changeup real effectively," remarked Yankees skipper Joe Girardi about Hughes. "I thought he used his fastball. I thought his curveball was pretty good tonight, so pleased with the way he threw the ball."
Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson had an RBI apiece for New York, which avoided losing four straight games for the first time this season. The Yankees won for just the second time in their last eight games.
Jeff Francoeur homered off Hughes and Humberto Quintero added a run-scoring double for the Royals, whose road winning streak was snapped at five games.
Luke Hochevar (3-5) allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings to absorb the loss.
Quintero delivered a one-out double with a runner on second, giving the Royals a 1-0 lead in the third. Francoeur took Hughes deep in the next inning, but Cano put the Yankees on the board in the home fourth, and New York moved ahead with a two-run fifth.
Mark Teixeira led off with a single and Hochevar hit the next batter before Dewayne Wise bunted for a hit, loading the bases with no outs. Jeter then plated Teixeira with a single to right field and Russell Martin scored on a groundout by Granderson.
After an intentional walk to Cano reloaded the bases, Hochevar fanned Alex Rodriguez and Raul Ibanez to escape further damage.
"He was maybe a hitter or two away from coming out," said Royals manager Ned Yost about Hochevar in the fifth. "We weren't going to let it get to far away from us but we wanted to give him the opportunity to get through it."
Kansas City had a chance to generate some runs in the sixth, but Irving Falu flied out to left with the bases loaded.
Hughes has won each of his last four starts against Kansas City...Before the game, the Royals placed second baseman Chris Getz on the 15-day disabled list with a left ribcage contusion and selected the contract of pitcher Will Smith from Triple-A Omaha. To clear space on the 40-man roster, pitcher Blake Wood was transferred to the 60-day DL.