PP Game Notes: Yankees 12 - Royals 4

Jon Lieber's Yankee debut was helped along by seven RBI from Ruben Sierra. Sierra's two homeruns - including a grand slam - added to Lieber's sparkling debut as the Yankees ran their win streak up to five games with a 12-4 win over the Royals.

After a rough start, Lieber (1-0) settled down. He allowed back-to-back hits to start the first inning, then retired the next 11 batters in a row. He lasted seven very strong innings, allowing just three runs five hits without walking a batter... Lieber's rapid-fire pitching pace kept opposing hitters off balance for the majority of the game. He threw 91 pitches, 69 for strikes... Edwardo Villacis (0-1) made his major-league debut for the Royals, but struggled with his command. He walked four batters in just 3.1 innings and allowed five runs on six hits... For the third straight game, Derek Jeter led off the first inning with a hit. He had three in the game and is on fire all of a sudden... The Yankees scored two in the first inning to wipe out a 1-0 deficit, and didn't look back... Sierra's three-run shot to right in third made the score 5-1, and his grand slam in the eighth made it 12-4... Hideki Matsui hit his third homer of the year, a solo shot, in the fifth... Both teams made two errors each, but both also made some spectacular defensive plays. Carlos Beltran made a fantastic diving catch to rob Sierra of a single in the sixth, and Derek Jeter made a play far to his left to take a single away from Desi Relaford...

Several Yankees are now heating up simulatenously, after most of the team was slumping before the Oakland series. Alex Rodriguez is riding an 11-game hit streak that has raised his average over 100 points. Jason Giambi has seven hits in his last 16 at bats. Gary Sheffield has eight hits in his last 24 at bats, and is riding a seven-game hit streak.

The Yankees look to sweep the Royals and win their sixth straight on Sunday at 1:05 PM. Mike Mussina (1-4, 6.55) will take the mound for the Yankees against KC's Jeremy Affeldt (0-2, 4.94).

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