Bronx, NY – Jeremy Guthrie pitched into the seventh inning and Billy Butler homered to help the Kansas City Royals to a 5-1 win over the New York Yankees in the opener of a four-game series.
Guthrie (8-6) scattered six hits and gave up a run over 6 2/3 innings to break a personal 0-3 stretch over four starts.
David Lough had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Royals, who lost twice at home to Oakland in a three-game set over the weekend.
The Royals had lost five in a row to the Yankees going back to last season, but scored twice in the second inning and endured a near one-hour rain delay before dealing the Yankees their second straight loss.
Yankees starter Phil Hughes (4-8) was lifted following a 59-minute rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning. The right-hander allowed four hits and a pair of runs, including Butler's solo blast, over four innings to lose for the sixth time in his last eight decisions.
Adam Warren worked 3 2/3 innings in long relief, but the Yankees struggled in clutch situations. They left the bases loaded in the ninth inning when Greg Holland struck out the final three batters to secure his 21st save.
Lyle Overbay clubbed a pinch-hit homer for New York, which went 1-for-7 with men in scoring position and left 10 on base.
The Yankees had won a season-high six in a row prior to Sunday's loss against Baltimore when future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera blew a save by giving up a two-run homer to Adam Jones.
Butler led off the second with a homer to right. Mike Moustakas doubled to left with one out and he scored on Lough's double down the left field line.
Robinson Cano was in the middle of his at-bat with one out when the tarp was rolled out. Guthrie continued to pitch following the delay and retired the ensuing two batters to end the frame.
"With this hot, humid weather he was able stay loose, throw in the cage," Royals manager Ned Yost said of the decision to stick with Guthrie.
Johnny Giavotella's double into the right field corner plated Moustakas in the seventh before Overbay homered to the second deck in right on the bottom half. Pinch-hitter Eduardo Nunez struck out swinging to leave runners at the corners.
Alex Gordon had an RBI double and he scored on an Alcides Escobar triple to left in the ninth to create a four-run margin.
Luke Hochevar and Holland combined to fill the bases with nobody out until successive strikeouts of Nunez, Brett Gardner and Zoilo Almonte ended the game.
Gardner has struck out at least once in each of his last 16 games, setting the franchise record for consecutive games with a strikeout as a batter.
"He's just struggling a little right now," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I can't really put my finger on it."
Guthrie is 5-9 lifetime against the Yankees ... New York fell to 14-4 against the AL Central this season ... Hughes had won each of his last five starts versus Kansas City ... The Royals recalled pitcher Louis Coleman from Omaha and optioned pitcher Will Smith to the Triple-A club ... The Yankees optioned infielder David Adams to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room on the roster for infielder Travis Ishikawa, who was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles Sunday.