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Cano beaned, removed from Yanks' loss

New York Yankees assistant trainer Steve Donohue, left,

New York Yankees assistant trainer Steve Donohue, left, and manager Joe Girardi, right, check on Robinson Cano (24) during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals. (May 11, 2011) Credit: AP

Robinson Cano underwent a CT scan after being beaned in the fifth inning of an 11-inning, 4-3 loss to the Royals Wednesday night, and the results were negative.

"He said he was OK and felt good," manager Joe Girardi said, "but when you get hit in the head like that, you have to be tested.''

Perhaps one of the next exams should be on the Yankee bats. For the second consecutive game, the Bombers produced only one extra-base hit and were a woeful 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

"It's tough," Girardi said after a three-game home winning streak went by the boards. "We had a ton of opportunities, we just never cashed in. We're better than this.''

After the Royals took a 3-2 lead in the top of the 10th, Curtis Granderson, who hit a solo homer in the third, drove in Russell Martin from third with a two-out single to right in the bottom of the inning. But the bullpen, which had posted three scoreless innings on Tuesday, faltered again.

With one out in the 11th and Luis Ayala on the mound, Eduardo Nuñez -- subbing for Cano, who was removed by Girardi after the beaning -- dove to stop Jarrod Dyson's grounder in the hole, preventing a run from scoring from second. Melky Cabrera was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Eric Hosmer, who had homered in the third, lifted a sacrifice fly to center for the 4-3 lead. The Yankees went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 11th against Louis Coleman, ending the 4:31 marathon.

Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth, but Joba Chamberlain was not deployed in the late innings. Girardi denied that he was hurt. "He's worked a lot lately," he said.

But the game was overshadowed by the Cano beaning and A.J. Burnett's pitch that struck Jeff Francoeur in the left shoulder, triggering a warning from plate umpire Ed Rapuano.

With two out in the fifth and the Yankees ahead 2-1, Cano, who leads the Yankees in batting average, was felled by reliever Nate Adcock on a 1-and-1 count. The second baseman was examined outside the batter's box and was grinning as Nuñez went in as a pinch runner.

In the top of the sixth, after Burnett issued his fifth walk -- and third in four batters -- to Hosmer, he hit Francoeur on a 1-and-1 count. The pitch did not appear intentional; Burnett swung his arms in frustration and denied that he retaliated.

"The ball got away from A.J., just like it got away from their kid,'' Girardi said.

Royals manager Ned Yost disagreed. "Of course," he responded when asked if Burnett threw at Francoeur on purpose. "Ours was an accident. That's the way the game goes."

Burnett left after throwing one-hit ball for seven innings. He threw 72 of his 115 pitches for strikes. It was the sixth time in eight starts that he has permitted fewer than three earned runs. But the bats weren't there to support him. Derek Jeter was 0-for-6 and stranded six runners. Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez each was 1-for-5.

The runs could have been valuable. In the eighth, David Robertson walked Cabrera, and after striking out Hosmer, walked Billy Butler before striking out Francoeur. But Wilson Betemit smacked a single to center -- just the second Royals hit of the night -- to tie the score at 2.

In a sloppy 10th, after the Yankees had stranded 14 runners through nine, Buddy Carlyle (0-1), who took the loss, uncorked two wild pitches and surrendered the go-ahead run on a double to right-center by Francoeur.

The Yankees opened the scoring against Royals righthander Vin Mazzaro with three consecutive singles to right in the bottom of the second. Cano led off with a liner off the wall, Swisher's hit advanced him to second and Jorge Posada, batting .147 coming in, pulled a single in front of Francoeur. The former Met's throw was on time, but Cano slid behind Brayan Pena as his left hand swiped the plate. It was the 71st RBI for Posada (2-for-3 with two walks) in 81 career games against the Royals.

Granderson's 12th homer to center on a 2-and 2 pitch extended the lead to 2-0, but the Yankees continued to leave men on base against Mazzaro.

In the third, Mark Teixeira walked for a second time and Rodriguez chopped a high bouncer up the third-base line for a hit. Cano lined to left for the first out and Swisher popped up to second. Posada walked, loading the bases, but Martin hit into a force out.

Hosmer drove his first career homer into the second deck in right to open the fourth, for the Royals' first run -- and first hit -- to cut the lead to 2-1. The Yankees never led again.


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