NEW YORK (AP) - Derek Jeter is tired of talking about slumps. So is Alex Rodriguez.
They're finally doing something about it.
Jeter had two more hits and drove in another run, A-Rod added a two-run single and Freddy Garcia turned over a two-run cushion to the New York Yankees' bullpen, which held off the Kansas City Royals for a 3-1 victory Tuesday night.
After getting off to a slow start, Jeter found his swing in Texas last weekend - he had four hits and a pair of homers Sunday. And he brought it with him back to the Bronx, where his average has climbed from .256 on Saturday to .283 after the opener against Kansas City.
``When things are going well, the results are there,' Jeter said simply.
The same must be true for Rodriguez.
He'd been in a 9-for-55 slump of his own, and was 5 for 27 with runners in scoring position before his single with the bases loaded gave New York a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning.
``The last few days have been pretty good,' Rodriguez said. ``(Hitting coach) Kevin (Long) and I have spent a lot of time together, on the field, in the cage.'
It paid off in support of Garcia (2-2), who allowed a pair of walks in six-plus innings to win for only the second time in nine decisions against the Royals.
Garcia turned the ball over to David Robertson, who pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning. Joba Chamberlain set down the Royals in order in the eighth, pitching in place of setup man Rafael Soriano, whose right elbow has been bothering him. He will have an MRI exam Wednesday.
Mariano Rivera finished up for his 13th save of the season and 25th straight against the Royals, making a nice stab to start a game-ending double play.
``Mo is one of the few pitchers that can make that play,' Jeter said.
Former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera provided the Royals with their only run, a solo homer to center field in the fourth inning that briefly tied the game.
It wasn't enough for Kyle Davies (1-5), who allowed all three runs in five-plus innings.
The Royals had plenty of opportunities to help out their starting pitcher, putting runners on base in just about every inning. They simply wasted them all.
Their first series of mistakes came in the third inning, when Matt Treanor led off with a single. He left first base early trying to steal second and Garcia spun around to easily pick him off. Plate umpire Ed Hickox at first called the pitcher for a balk, but he was overruled by his fellow umpires and even Royals manager Ned Yost agreed that it was the correct call.
It proved costly when Chris Getz singled moments later.
Getz made the second baserunning blunder of the inning when he tried to advance to second on a ball in the dirt. Catcher Russell Martin threw him out by about 3 feet.
``These guys are all seeing the benefits of being aggressive, but sometimes it bites you,' said Yost, whose team came into the game with 42 stolen bases.
Kansas City missed another opportunity in the fifth, putting two runners on with one out. Light-hitting Alcides Escobar struck out and Nick Swisher made a diving stab of a sinking liner off Getz's bat in right field to end the inning.
``It was a nice play by him,' Getz said. ``What are you going to do?'
The Royals also loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Robertson struck out Escobar and Getz to escape the inning, and Kansas City went quietly the rest of the way.
NOTES: Yankees RHP Phil Hughes plans to start throwing on flat ground Thursday. He had a cortisone shot about two weeks ago to relieve discomfort in his ailing right shoulder. Hughes has been on the disabled list since April 14. ... The Royals are putting LHP Bruce Chen (strained left side) on the DL and will recall RHP Vin Mazzaro from Triple-A Omaha to start Wednesday night.
The Associated Press News Service
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