KANSAS CITY, Mo. – CC Sabathia picked up his 15th victory, Austin Kearns homered and the New York Yankees held off the Kansas City Royals 4-3 on Thursday night.
Sabathia (15-5) is tied with Tampa Bay left-hander David Price for the most victories in the American League. Sabathia, who is 11-2 in his past 14 starts, gave up three runs and 10 hits, while walking two and striking out three in 8 2-3 innings.
David Robertson got his first save of the season in three opportunities, but not before giving up a two-run double to Willie Bloomquist, who had three hits. After a Wilson Betemit infield single moved Bloomquist to third, Robertson struck out Jason Kendall to end the game.
Sabathia, who owns a 35-10 career record in August, has a 17-10 record against the Royals, including a 10-5 record at Kauffman Stadium.
Kearns' ninth home run was his first with the Yankees, who acquired him in a July 30 trade with the Cleveland Indians. Kearns homered on a full-count pitch with the bases empty in the fourth.
Curtis Granderson, who had not started the previous two games and was in a 3-for-29 skid, singled home Robinson Cano in the second with the first Yankees run. Cano had walked and stopped at second on a Kearns single.
Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly in the third scored Derek Jeter, who led off the inning with an infield single.
The Yankees scored an unearned run in the seventh when Jeter reached on Betemit's fielding error to start the inning. Nick Swisher, who had three hits, singled Jeter to second. He went to third on Teixeira's fly to deep center and scored on an Alex Rodriguez ground out.
Alex Gordon doubled with two out in the fourth and scored on Aviles' single. The Royals have scored only 18 runs in their past 10 games, eight of them losses.
Bruce Chen (7-6), who had won his first two August starts, left after five-plus innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out two. He was replaced by rookie right-hander Kanekoa Texeira after yielding a sixth inning leadoff single to Marcus Thames.
The Yankees have won 32 of their past 43 games against the Royals.
Notes: Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte was held out of a simulated game Thursday in Tampa with a stiff left hip flexor tendon. He has not pitched since July 18, going on the disabled list with a left groin strain. ... Royals CF Gregor Blanco left after four innings with dehydration , heat exhaustion and dizzy spells. ...Teixeira returned to the Yankees lineup after missing the previous two games for the birth of his son. ... Yankees RHP Alfredo Aceves, who in on the 60-day disabled list with a strained lower back, is scheduled to throw two innings or 35 pitches Thursday for Double-A Trenton on a rehab appearance. ... Royals 1B Billy Butler grounded into his American League-leading 25th double play in the third.