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A-Rod hits 49th as Yanks top Royals

Solid Kennedy takes no-decision; Abreu breaks tie in seventh
09/07/2007 11:04 PM ET
By Conor Nicholl / MLB.com

Cano tags out Joey Gathright stealing second.(AP)
KANSAS CITY -- Derek Jeter scored the go-ahead run in the top of the seventh inning on a Bobby Abreu double to help the Yankees defeat the Royals, 3-2, on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

With one out, Jeter singled to right field off Neal Musser. Abreu crushed a Musser pitch off the wall in left-center field, and Jeter came all the way around to score, barely beating Jason Smith's throw to the plate. The play would have been very close, but Royals catcher John Buck couldn't corral the short hop.

New York could do little in the first six innings off Gil Meche. In two previous starts against the Yankees this season, the Royals All-Star allowed 11 runs in 11 1/3 innings. This time, Meche allowed only two second-inning runs. Alex Rodriguez lined a 3-2 pitch over the left-field fence for a solo homer.

The blast, A-Rod's 49th of the season, bumped his career total to 513 and moved him past Eddie Mathews and Ernie Banks and into sole possession of 17th place on the all-time list. Rodriguez, who singled in his next two at-bats, has crushed Meche in his career, batting .448 (13-for-29) with five homers and 10 RBIs.

The Royals tied the game with two second-inning runs off three singles and an Alex Gordon double off Ian Kennedy. Kennedy, making just his second Major League start, pitched admirably. He allowed two runs on five hits and has permitted just three earned runs in his first 12 Major League innings.

Kennedy also worked out of two-on, one-out jam in the fifth inning, when he coaxed a popup from Mark Teahen and a comebacker from David DeJesus.

The Yankees loaded the bases in the sixth inning against Meche. Robinson Cano fouled off five pitches and worked Meche for an 11-pitch at-bat before striking out on a 3-2 inside fastball. The Yankees did it again the eighth against Jimmy Gobble and David Riske. This time, Abreu, who fouled off four pitches and also worked the count full, struck out.

Kyle Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera provided shutout relief. New York is 7-1 against Kansas City this season. With the win, the Yankees remained three games ahead of the Tigers in the American League Wild Card race.

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