Bronx, NY – Billy Butler clubbed the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning as the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Yankees for a second straight night, 3-1, to spoil CC Sabathia's complete-game effort.
James Shields (4-6) allowed five hits and a run over seven innings to remain unbeaten in his last eight starts. but the right-hander has just two victories in that span. The Royals have won each of the last eight times Shields has taken the mound going back to his last defeat, May 27 against St. Louis.
Shields didn't give up a hit after the second inning and retired the final 13 batters he faced.
"James Shields after the first inning really settled in. He made big pitches when he needed to," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
Greg Holland retired the side in order in the ninth to get his second save of the series and 22nd of the season.
David Lough also homered and Eric Hosmer added an RBI ground-rule double for the Royals, who have won five of their last seven contests.
Sabathia (9-7) fanned six and allowed seven hits while throwing 113 pitches, but the hard-throwing left-hander didn't get the necessary run support.
Brett Gardner had a pair of hits and scored the lone run for the Yankees, who have lost three in a row at home for the first time since a four-game skid July 28-31, 2012.
"When you get four baserunners after the first inning it's hard to do a lot," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
New York, which has scored exactly one run in each of its last three contests, gained a first-inning lead in the second portion of this four-game series.
Gardner bunted for a base hit and Ichiro Suzuki singled to right. Robinson Cano then singled to right field to drive in the only run for the hosts. They loaded the bases with one out, but Lyle Overbay struck out and Eduardo Nunez flied out to center.
Each team wasted a chance with a pair of runners on in the third, and Lough tied the game with a second-deck homer to right leading off the sixth.
Butler's blast to left leading off the seventh provided the 2-1 edge.
The Royals tacked on another in the eighth thanks to back-to-back one-out doubles from Alcides Escobar and Hosmer, whose got his two-bagger thanks to a bounce into the stands down the left-field line.
Gardner was left stranded at second in the eighth by reliever Tim Collins.
Shields is 8-15 lifetime against the Yankees, while Sabathia is 18-11 all-time versus the Royals ... New York lost for just the third time in its last 17 games against AL Central teams ... Sabathia, who lost for just the second time in his last nine home starts, gained his second complete game of the year and 37th of his career.