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Royals let another lead slip away in 6-3 loss to Yankees

NEW YORK | Another home run Sunday by José Guillen gave the Royals another lead against the Yankees before the Yankees mounted another comeback and pulled out another victory at Yankee Stadium.

Does this sound familiar?

Jason Giambi’s homer against Zack Greinke provided the tie-breaking run in New York’s 6-3 victory. That came in the sixth inning with Greinke nearing 100 pitches on a muggy, mid-90s afternoon.

Alex Rodriguez delivered the knockout blow with a two-run double in the seventh against reliever Ron Mahay. That was sufficient to secure the Yankees’ 47th victory in 57 games against the Royals over the last 14 years in the South Bronx.

Before all of that, though, the Royals offered a reprise from Saturday’s lead-blowing debacle by taking a 3-2 lead on Guillen’s two-run homer in the third inning.

Guillen had two homers and seven RBIs that went for naught Saturday when the Royals blew leads of 5-1, 10-6 and 11-10 in a 12-11 loss to the Yankees.

So this was nothing compared to that.

Guillen’s homer was his 10th of the season and came against Yankees fireballer Joba Chamberlain, who lasted just 4 1/3 innings while working on an 80-pitch limit in his second start since joining the rotation.

Chamberlain gave up three runs and five hits while throwing 78 pitches, but the Royals did little with his replacement, rookie Dan Giese, over the next 2 2/3 innings. So Giese, 1-1, got his first big-league victory when New York rallied.

José Veras worked a scoreless eighth before Mariano Rivera closed out the victory for his 16th save in 16 opportunities.

Guillen also had a single in four at-bats and raised his average to a season-high .266. His 10 homers and 47 RBIs are club-leading totals.

Greinke, 5-4, suffered his third straight loss and saw his ERA climb to a season-high 3.77 after allowing four runs and six hits in five-plus innings. The Royals lost for the 17th time in 20 games and fell to 24-39.

Bobby Abreu staked Chamberlain to a 2-0 lead with a homer in the first. He also drove in the tying run with a ground-out in the fifth after Guillen’s homer gave the Royals a 3-2 lead.

Abreu, Rodriguez and Johnny Damon each had two of the Yankees’ nine hits. Damon went two for five after his six-for-six performance in Saturday’s game.

The four-game series concludes Monday afternoon before the Royals return home for a three-game series against Texas.

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