Guillen's homers beat the Yanks

June 9, 2008 2:03:08 PM PDT
Jose Guillen finished off his big series against the New York Yankees in style, hitting a tiebreaking solo home run off Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning Monday to lift the Kansas City Royals to a 3-2 win. Guillen went deep on an 0-2 pitch from Rivera (2-2), pumping his right arm as he watched the ball sail over the fence while rounding first base. Rivera turned around and shouted several times after the drive - a rare show of emotion for the longtime closer.

It was Guillen's 11th homer of the season and fourth in the last three games. He went 9-for-16 in the four-game series with four homers and 10 RBIs, and also scored six runs to help the Royals gain a split.

The Yankees loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, and Melky Cabrera hit a trickler up the first base line. First baseman Mark Teahen quickly scooped the ball and neatly tossed to reliever Joakim Soria covering the bag for the final out.

Yasuhiko Yabuta (1-0) got Bobby Abreu to ground out with runners on first and second to end the eighth and earn his first major league win.

Soria got his 14th save. In his appearance, he blew his first save opportunity of the season Saturday against New York.

Kansas City got a nice effort from Luke Hochevar and won for only the fourth time in 21 games. The Royals also improved to 5-29 at Yankee Stadium since the start of the 2000 season.

Mike Mussina, bidding to become the first 10-game winner in the AL, allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings. He is 8-1 with a 3.11 ERA in his last 10 starts.

Mussina was working on a three-hit shutout when Guillen doubled with one out in the seventh. Alex Gordon flied out but Miguel Olivo hit the next pitch over the wall in left for his eighth homer of the season.

Kansas City put runners on second and third later in the inning but Mussina retired Joey Gathright on a grounder to third for the final out.

New York bounced back quickly. Abreu led off the bottom half with a double and Alex Rodriguez followed with a long drive to left to chase Hochevar and tie it at 2. It was Rodriguez's 10th homer of the season.

Hochevar, the top overall selection in the 2006 draft, retired 14 straight after leadoff hitter Johnny Damon beat out a grounder for an infield single in the first.

The gametime temperature was 94 degrees, and the crowd of 53,633 used fans, towels and umbrellas to stay cool.

There was a loud cheer in the fifth inning when a cloud moved in front of the afternoon sun. A few moments later, the cloud moved along and there was a smattering of boos when sunshine spread across the stadium again.

Notes: Yankees RHP Ian Kennedy, on the DL with a strained muscle near his right rib cage and bursitis in his right shoulder blade, threw about 30 pitches in a bullpen session and was scheduled to travel to the team's facility in Tampa, Fla., to continue his rehab. "It was a very average bullpen but it felt good," said Kennedy, who threw all fastballs and changeups. ... Kansas City returns home to open a three-game series against the Texas Rangers beginning Tuesday night.


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