(Sports Network) - The owners of the best record in baseball, the New York Yankees will shoot for their third straight win tonight in the second portion of a four-game road series against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
The American League East-leading Yankees split a two-game set in Texas before beating the Royals, 4-3, in Thursday's series opener. CC Sabathia improved to 15-5 this season and was reached for three runs and 10 hits over eight innings of work. He struck out three and walked two before David Robertson earned his first save by getting the final out of the game.
"Getting that close and one out away, but I've got a lot of confidence in (Robertson) in the bullpen," Sabathia said of almost going the distance. "(The bullpen) picked me up tonight."
Austin Kearns homered, Nick Swisher finished with three hits and Curtis Granderson ended 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Bronx Bombers, who are two games ahead of Tampa Bay for the AL East lead and have won five of their last eight games. Kearns hit his first home run since the Yankees acquired him from Cleveland in a July 30 trade.
Yankees all-time hits leader and future Hall of Fame shortstop Derek Jeter had two hits and two runs scored in a winning effort.
New York will pin pitching duties on Dustin Moseley tonight, and he's 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in seven games (three starts) this season. Moseley is 2-1 in his past three trips to the hill and defeated Boston on Sunday by holding the AL East rivals to a pair of runs over 6 1/3 innings.
Moseley will make his first career start against the Royals, but is 0-0 with a 1.86 ERA in four previous relief appearances. The righty threw 4 2/3 scoreless innings of relief against Kyle Davies in a loss to Kansas City back on July 24.
The Royals hope Davies can keep his unbeaten streak against the Yankees intact when he gets the nod Friday night. He is 2-0 in three career starts against New York and beat the defending World Series champions in the Bronx in that July 24 matchup. Davies allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings, but got more than enough run support in the 7-4 decision.
Davies is returning to Kauffman Stadium, where he is just 1-4 with a 5.07 ERA in nine starts this year. He is 5-7 in 22 overall starts this season and 1-4 with a 5.45 ERA in his last 12 starts. The right-hander recently lost at Seattle on Sunday, but he pitched well enough for the win with six innings of two-run ball in a 3-2 defeat.
Bruce Chen started for Kansas City in Thursday's series opener and was dealt the loss for allowing three runs and eight hits -- including the homer to Kearns in the fourth inning -- over five innings of work.
"I felt like I was mixing my pitches real well," Chen said. "I feel like I made one mistake. Austin Kearns. He got me."
New York took three of four from the Royals earlier in the year after going 4-2 in the season series a year ago.