Royals' newbie faces heavy-hitting Yanks

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 11:45 AM ET

Bryan Bullington will make his second start of the season for Kansas City when the Royals close out a four-game set against the New York Yankees this afternoon at Kauffman Stadium.

Bullington has been up and down through the Kansas City organization all year, but he made his first start for the club Tuesday against the Angels. In that matchup against Anaheim, the right-hander surrendered three runs on five hits in six innings of work in a 3-1 loss. Bullington finished with four strikeouts and just one walk as well.

The 29-year-old will be making his first-ever start against New York.

As for the Yankees, they will turn to their struggling veteran A.J. Burnett. The hard-throwing right-hander has just three wins in his last 10 matchups, but he is coming off a solid outing against Texas on Tuesday.

Burnett held the Rangers to just three runs in seven innings, but despite the solid display, New York eventually fell to Texas in extra frames.

Pitching on the road has been a major issue for Burnett, who is just 5-5 with a poor 5.35 earned run average in 13 starts.

Fortunately the Arkansas native is 3-2 with a solid 2.96 earned run average in seven career starts against Kansas City. One of those wins came earlier this season, when he tossed five scoreless innings on July 23. Burnett scattered four hits and struck out three batters in that game.

Last night, Alex Rodriguez hit career homers No. 602, 603 and 604 to lead the Yankees to an 8-3 victory over Kansas City.

Rodriguez finished with four hits and drove in five runs for the Yankees, who have taken two of the three games in this series so far. It was the fourth three-homer game of his career and first since April 26, 2005.

The All-Star slugger also recorded his second multi-homer game of the season and 56th of his career.

Curtis Granderson and Jorge Posada also homered for New York, while Phil Hughes (14-5) pitched six innings and allowed three runs on nine hits and a walk to gain the win.

Wilson Betemit went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI for the Royals, who have lost six of seven. Sean O'Sullivan (1-4) was dealt the loss after yielding four runs, eight hits and two walks in 5 1/3 frames.

New York has won nine of the 13 matchups against Kansas City since the start of last season.


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