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A-Rod connects twice for Yanks

On Tuesday night, after another mediocre game at the plate, Alex Rodriguez insisted he was ready to go on a tear.

He knew what he was talking about.

A-Rod gave Will Smith a rude welcome to the major leagues Wednesday night, hitting two homers off the rookie to back another strong start for Andy Pettitte and lead the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 8-3.

"I said it with conviction not because it was going to sound good here in my locker but because I felt it," Rodriguez said. "It's good to back that up."

Rodriguez snapped a 52 at-bat homerless drought and drove in three runs for New York. Curtis Granderson also connected off Smith and the Yankees scored three times in the fifth with help from some inept relief pitching.

Derek Jeter had three hits to tie Paul Waner for 15th with 3,152. Before Jeter singled in the eighth, Waner had been the only player who reached a bigger hits milestone than Jeter in a Yankees uniform. "Big Poison" got just one hit with New York, his final one in a career spent mostly in Pittsburgh.

New York scored as many as three runs in the first inning for the first time in 31 games since April 19 and finished a 3-3 homestand. The Yankees start a 10-game trip at Oakland on Friday following their first consecutive wins since taking three in a row from May 10-12.

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