Yankees Go For Sweep of Royals Tonight

By: By STEVE BRISENDINE, AP Sports Writer
By: By STEVE BRISENDINE, AP Sports Writer

NY Yankees 7, Kansas City 1

July 25, 2007
AP - Jul 25, 11:41 pm EDT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez moved within one of the 500-home run club, helping the New York Yankees get as close to the Boston Red Sox as they've been in 2 1/2 months.

Rodriguez hit his 499th homer, and Melky Cabrera and Hideki Matsui also went deep in a 7-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night that extended the Yankees' winning streak to six.

Seeking to become the youngest player to reach 500 homers, Rodriguez connected in the eighth inning off Gil Meche. Kansas City's starter Thursday is Jorge De La Rosa, who gave up A-Rod's 400th homer two years ago.

Rodriguez had a chance to reach 500 in the ninth inning, but as flashbulbs popped he struck out against former teammate Octavio Dotel.

On June 8, 2005, Rodriguez hit his 400th homer off De La Russa, then with Milwaukee. A-Rod, who turns 32 Friday, would surpass Jimmie Foxx (32 years, 338 days) as the youngest player to reach 500 homers. Rodriguez would be the 22nd to reach the mark and the second this season behind Frank Thomas.

With its 11th win in 13 games, New York closed within 6 1/2 games of the AL East-leading Red Sox. The Yankees, who trailed by 14 1/2 games in late May, had not been this close since trailing Boston by six games before play on May 10.

New York (54-46), a season-high eight games above .500, got 13 hits for the third straight night and stayed 4 1/2 games behind Cleveland, the AL wild-card leader.

Mike Mussina (5-7) allowed one run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He had been 0-2 in three starts since beating Oakland on June 29.


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