Yankees Squeak Past Royals 3-2

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NEW YORK — Despite an encouraging start from pitcher Luke Hochevar, the Kansas City Royals lost 3-2 to the New York Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Hochevar (3-5, 6.61 ERA) gave up three runs on six hits in 6 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking three.

Right fielder Jeff Francoeur continued his hot streak as of late, hitting his third home run of the season in the fourth inning, a solo blast that gave the Royals a 2-0 lead. Later that inning, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano answered with a solo HR to make it 2-1.

Shortstop Derek Jeter tied the game with an RBI single in the fifth, and center fielder Curtis Granderson made it 3-2 after hitting the go-ahead RBI. Yankees starter Phil Hughes (4-5, 4.94 ERA) gave up two runs on five hits in 6 innings, striking out seven and walking two.

The rubber-match of this series will also be the rubber-match of the season series between the Royals (17-25, 12-8 away) and Yankees (22-21, 13-11 home), with the season series tied at 3-3.

Royals left-handed starter Will Smith will make his major league debut against Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte (1-1, 2.51 ERA) for game three at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.

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