Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Pineda pitched into the seventh inning for his first win since April and Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-for-5 with a homer and three runs batted in, as the New York Yankees won their fifth straight with an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday in the makeup of a rainout from June 9.
Stephen Drew hit a solo home run and Martin Prado ignited a four-run seventh inning with a homer for the Yankees, who were coming off a weekend sweep of the Chicago White Sox and matched their season-high winning streak set from April 12-17.
Pineda (3-2), making his third start since coming off the 60-day disabled list and serving a 10-game suspension for the pine tar incident against Boston back in April, surrendered just a run on five hits with five strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He had a pair of no-decisions in his first two starts off the DL, despite leaving both games with the lead, and earned his first victory since April 16.
"I tried to be a little more aggressive and make good pitches," said Pineda, who had his longest outing of the season. "I'm very happy today. I feel pretty good."
Mike Moustakas homered for the lone Kansas City run and James Shields (12-7) was roughed up for six runs on 10 hits over 6 2/3 innings in defeat. The AL Central leaders have lost two straight for the first time since July 27-29.
"For the last month or so I've been pitching well, for the most part," said Shields. "I had a little hiccup today, but that's part of the game. A lot of good veteran hitters over there."
Prado drilled a Shields offering into the left-center field seats for his ninth homer to start the big seventh inning. Chase Headley and Ichiro Suzuki followed with base hits and one-out RBI singles by Ellsbury and Derek Jeter made it 5-1. Brian McCann then hit a fly ball to right and Ellsbury was called out at home on a strong throw from Lorenzo Cain, but a review overturned the original decision and gave the Yankees their fourth run of the inning.
Pineda exited after yielding a one-out double to Salvador Perez in the bottom of the inning and David Huff retired Moustakas on a fly ball to deep center with runners on the corners to keep the five-run cushion intact.
Ellsbury's two-run blast in the ninth off Francisley Bueno accounted for the final margin.
"We swung the bats extremely well tonight and got contributions from everyone in the lineup," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi.
The Yankees grabbed the lead in the third. Suzuki reached second on an infield single and an error by Shields before Zelous Wheeler drew a walk. A fielder's choice by Ellsbury put runners on the corners and Ellsbury was running on what would have been a double-play grounder by Jeter, beating the play at second to allow Suzuki to cross home with the first run.
Kansas City got the run back in the bottom of the frame on Moustakas' leadoff homer, but Drew put the Yankees back on top in the next inning with a one-out shot just inside the right field foul pole.
The Royals put the tying run in scoring position in the sixth when Jarrod Dyson singled with one out and stole second. Pineda then retired Omar Infante on a shallow fly to right and Alex Gordon on a comebacker.