NEW YORK — The Kansas City Royals haven't been in this kind of slump in more than a year.
The Yankees put up two more first-inning runs in this series — Mark Teixeira's two-run homer — and the Royals couldn't recover, losing their third straight for the first time since last August, 5-1 to New York on Tuesday night.
"I was hoping to go a little bit longer," manager Ned Yost said. "You don't want to go to four, so we're going to have to find a way to win the baseball game tomorrow."
The Royals fell behind 8-0 in the first inning of a 14-1 loss to New York on Monday. Jason Vargas (3-2) gave up Teixeira's drive in the first, but otherwise looked sharp in his first outing since May 5.
Vargas was activated off the disabled list to make the start, taking the spot of Danny Duffy, who went on the DL on Monday with biceps tendinitis. Vargas was on a 75-pitch limit and Yost stuck to it, pulling the left-hander after four innings, one pitch over the set ceiling. He struck out six and gave up four hits.
"Teixeira's was definitely a mistake. It was right over the middle of the plate. Other than that, I felt good out there," said Vargas, who was out with a flexor muscle strain. "I didn't have any lingering effects of what was hampering me before."
Vargas has not beaten the Yankees in eight starts and nine appearances, dropping to 0-5.
The Royals mustered a season-low four hits in the loss.
Adam Warren (3-3) was perfect until Mike Moustakas beat out a hit to second baseman Stephen Drew on the outfield grass in right-center with one out in the fourth. The only other hit he allowed was Paulo Orlando's first major league homer in the sixth.
"The first one, you never forget it," Orlando said. "And it's a good way (coming) in Yankee Stadium."
Lifted after 6 1-3 innings, Warren struck out five without walking a batter in the best of his 12 big league starts. He's pitched at least 6 1-3 innings in each of his last three starts.
"I feel like I'm getting more comfortable in this role," Warren said. "I feel like I'm starting to get on a roll a bit, and I'm starting to get more confidence out there and I feel like I can get deeper in games."
Teixeira doubled in two more runs in the fifth against Joe Blanton. The switch-hitter has more homers (14) than singles this year (13).
He advanced to third on the double when center fielder Lorenzo Cain bobbled the ball for an error and scored on Chase Headley's sacrifice fly, caught by Gold Glover Alex Gordon with a tumbling catch on the sinking liner.
Cain made a leaping catch in front of the wall for the third out of the inning, and Teixeira stood in the dugout with his hand on his head and mouth agape, stunned.
Royals: OF Alex Rios (broken hand) went 0 for 5 as the DH in his first rehab game, at Triple-A Omaha. Yost said Rios felt good.
Royals: Princeton graduate Chris Young, who turned 36 Monday, will take his 0.78 ERA, lowest among all pitchers with at least 30 innings, into his second start against the Yankees and Michael Pineda in less than two weeks. Young allowed a run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings against New York.
Yankees: Pineda has been hit hard in his two starts since striking out 16 against Baltimore on May 10. He allowed five runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings against the Royals in Kansas City.
WALKING FOR A CAUSE
Former naval officer and retired school teacher Richard Albero completed an approximately 1,150-mile walk in honor of his nephew Gary Albero, who died during the attacks of 9/11, and the Wounded Warrior Project, with a stomp on home plate before the game. Albero began his journey on March 2 at the Yankees' spring training home in Tampa, Florida. He raised about $27,000 along the way and the Yankees chipped in another $25,000 Tuesday.
After Orlando homered a fan threw a ball back onto the field, but it was a batting practice ball. Still, Orlando was able to trade a batting glove, a bat and some signed balls for the real one once the game was over.