Kansas City, Mo. Joba Chamberlain’s season debut went just fine. It was the pitchers who followed him that cost the New York Yankees.
John Buck homered and drove in three runs, helping the Kansas City Royals rally past New York, 6-4, on a rainy Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
The Royals scored three runs with two outs in the eighth inning off relievers Jose Veras and Phil Coke (0-1), spoiling a solid start by Chamberlain.
“I still have to be more consistent. I let fastballs get up. When the weather started getting out of control, you have to slow the game down and not get ahead of yourself,” Chamberlain said. “The bullpen has done a good job so far. There’s no second-guessing the bullpen.”
With the Yankees clinging to a 4-3 lead, Damaso Marte retired the first two Kansas City batters in the eighth 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. with the tying run.
Alberto Callaspo added an RBI single. Buck, who had three hits, doubled home Callaspo with the final run.
Joakim Soria earned his third save by striking out the side in the ninth. Juan Cruz (1-0) worked a perfect eighth for the win, helped by a diving catch in right field from Willie Bloomquist.
“We came back and got it done,” Royals starter Gil Meche said.