Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees are still looking to bust out with that big hit. The mood in the clubhouse was much better, though, following a much-needed win.
Robinson Cano homered, Phil Hughes beat Kansas City for the second time this month and New York eked out a 3-2 victory over the Royals on Tuesday night.
Derek Jeter delivered a bases-loaded single that tied the score and New York rallied from an early two-run deficit to snap a three-game skid. Shut out Monday in the series opener, the Yankees (22-21) went 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position -- one night after they finished 0 for 13 in those situations for their worst performance with RISP since 1990.
"It wasn't that pretty, but that was a good win," said Rodriguez, who struck out with the bases loaded but combined with Mark Teixeira on a game-saving defensive play. "It felt really good to win a game like this. Sometimes you need a game like this to kind of get you on a roll. Hopefully it's a good sign of things to come. We haven't been winning these kinds of games."
New York, which had lost six of seven to drop into a last-place tie with Boston in the AL East, now has eight hits in its last 79 at-bats (.101) with runners in scoring position.
Hughes (4-5) gave up five hits in six innings while striking out seven, beating Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar (3-5) for the second time in 17 days.
"It seemed like nothing was a walk in the park tonight," Hughes said.
The Yankees caught a break when Mike Moustakas lined into a double play to end the eighth. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his third save, retiring Alcides Escobar with a runner on third to end Kansas City's five-game winning streak away from home.
Rodriguez fielded Escobar's grounder behind third base and made a high throw across the diamond. Teixeira stretched out his 6-foot-3 frame and kept his toe on the bag as New York got the call on a bang-bang play.
"I don't think there's many other first basemen in the league that could stretch like that and make that play," Hughes said.
"Had 'em all the way," Jeter said.
Cano put the Yankees on the scoreboard with a solo homer in the fourth.