Mistakes on the bases and the inability to drive runs in proved costly as the Royals washed left six men on base during a close game.
To run down the issues on the base paths, Matt Treanor led off the third inning with a single and then was caught stealing second. Initially it worked in the Royals favor as Yankees starter Freddy Garcia was called for a balk, but the call was quickly reversed. Chris Getz then singled in the same inning and was also called out trying to steal second.
The Royals also had two men on with one out in the fifth inning but we unable to plate a run after Alcides Escobar struck out, and Getz lined out.
In addition to what had already happened, it became apparent it wasn't the Royals night offensively as they loaded the bases in the seventh with one out before Escobar and Getz struck out to end the threat.
New York took the lead in the third as Derek Jeter singled to drive in Brett Gardner after the speedy Gardner had tripled prior. Jeter collected two hits for the Bronx Bombers.
Ex-Yankee Melky Cabrera briefly tied the game in the fourth as he hit a home run to center field off Garcia to tie the game at one. Cabrera, playing his former team for the first time, now has four home runs and 22 RBI on the season. All of last season Cabrera had just four home runs.
The Yankees took the lead for good in the fifth against Davies, as Alex Rodriguez singled past a diving Escobar for a two-out double that plated two runs to give New York the 3-1 cushion that would be the final.
Davies went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits as he fell to 1-5. Tim Collins pitched two, and Blake Wood one inning of scoreless relief.
Garcia lasted seven innings allowing one run on six hits, improving to 2-2. Mariano Rivera picked up his 13th save as New York moved to 20-13, while Kansas City is now 18-17 and just 3-9 on the road.
A.J. Burnett will be Wednesday night's starter for New York going against Vin Mazzaro who was just called up Tuesday from AAA Omaha.