NY Yankees Sweep Royals

NEW YORK (AP) -- Hideki Matsui hit his 100th major league home run and Mike Mussina won his third straight start to help the surging New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5 Sunday.

Bobby Abreu went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Melky Cabrera also went deep for the Yankees, who wrapped up a 5-1 homestand and improved to 18-7 since the All-Star break. They have scored 102 runs in their last eight games at Yankee Stadium, moving 11 games over .500 for the first time this year.

Matsui's homer came one day after New York's Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player in major league history to reach 500. A relaxed A-Rod got a rare start at designated hitter in the series finale and went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly.

Ross Gload hit a two-run homer and Joey Gathright had a career-high four hits for Kansas City, which has lost five of six overall and 19 of its last 20 in the Bronx. Gload went 2-for-4 and is batting .565 (13-for-23) with two homers and eight RBIs against New York this season.

Mussina (7-7) allowed two runs and nine hits in six-plus innings to earn win No. 246, breaking a tie with Dennis Martinez for the most victories in major league history among pitchers without a 20-win season.

He departed after allowing a leadoff single to Gathright in the seventh, and waved his hat toward the crowd as they yelled "Moose" while he walked to the dugout. Brian Bruney replaced him and got Tony Pena Jr. to ground into a double play.

Bruney allowed the next two batters to reach and Kansas City pushed across two runs before Mike Myers got Emil Brown to ground out to end the inning.

Myers allowed one run in one inning, and Mariano Rivera got four outs for his 17th save in 19 opportunities -- his first since July 18.

Matsui led off the third inning with his 22nd homer of the season, a drive to right that made it 5-0. He joined the Yankees in 2003 after hitting 332 over 10 seasons for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Central League and is a big part of New York's resurgence this year: Matsui is batting .338 with 14 homers and 32 RBIs since July 1.

Cabrera led off the sixth with his seventh homer and Matsui also had a sacrifice fly to give New York an 8-2 lead.

Both drives by the Yankees were hauled in by 35-year-old Alexander Martinez of Hartford, Conn., who said he had never caught a home run before. Martinez said he had agreed to return the ball to Matsui but didn't know what he was getting in return yet.

"I live in an area with a lot of Red Sox fans, but I'm not one of them," he said.

Gil Meche (7-9) gave up six runs, six hits and five walks in four-plus innings for the Royals.

New York scored four runs off Meche with two outs in the second inning. Cabrera had an RBI single, Derek Jeter walked with the bases loaded and Abreu drove in two runs with a single to center.

Yankees RHP Luis Vizcaino turns 33 on Monday. ... Gathright is 7-for-11 against New York this season. ... Jeter was hit by a pitch near a wrist but stayed in the game. ... The Royals are 1-6 against the Yankees this year.


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