Royals score early, hold off Yankees in series-opener

Kansas City Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar hits a three-run home run off New York Yankees relief pitcher Blake Parker during the seventh inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Dillon Gee kept the Royals’ momentum going with six sharp innings, Alcides Escobar hit a three-run homer and Kansas City beat the New York Yankees 8-5 on Monday night to open their three-game set.

Gee (6-7) allowed only four hits and a run in the latest impressive start by the Royals’ staff, helping the reigning World Series champions win for the 18th time in 22 games.

Lorenzo Cain, Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon drove in runs off Michael Pineda (6-11) during a five-hit salvo in the first inning. Pineda then retired 15 straight before getting into a two-on, no-outs jam in the seventh that led to Escobar’s homer off reliever Blake Parker.

Starlin Castro drove in two runs for the Yankees, the second in a four-run eighth inning that forced Kansas City manager Ned Yost to summon fill-in closer Kelvin Herrera.

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