John Buck homered and drove in three runs, helping the Royals avoid a sweep by beating the Yankees 6-4 at Kauffman Stadium Sunday afternoon.
The Royals scored three runs with two outs in the eighth inning off relievers Jose Veras and Phil Coke after spoiling a good season debut for Joba Chamberlain playing close to his native Lincoln, NE.
With the Yankees clinging to a 4-3 lead, Damaso Marte got the first two outs in the 8th before Veras was brought in to face pinch-hitter Billy Butler.
Veras walked Butler and was lifted for Coke, who gave up a double to Brayan Pena that scored pinch-runner Tony Pena Jr. Then Alberto Callapso added a RBI single, then John Buck who had homered earlier in the game, doubled in Callaspo.
Joakim Soria picked up his third save by striking out the side in the ninth. Juan Cruz worked the 8th and got help on a beautiful diving catch from Willie Bloomquist in right.
Chamberlain, who made 12 starts last season before going on the disabled list with rotator cuff tendinitis and then going back to the bullpen, held the Royals to three runs (two earned) and four hits in six innings. He struck out five, walked one and hit two batters. Gil Meche went seven innings, allowing four runs and six hits with six strikeouts and two walks.
Alex Gordon, Chamberlain’s teammate at NU did not play. He was nursing a sore hip.