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Royals notebook: Yankee Stadium fails to return Bannister’s love

NEW YORK | Brian Bannister’s sense of history only made it worse Sunday when he endured the worst start in history by a Royals pitcher at Yankee Stadium.

"Since I was a little kid," he said, "I wanted to pitch in this ballpark. It hasn’t been that nice to me in return."

Bannister failed to hold leads of 2-0 and 5-1 on June 7 in his only previous start in the South Bronx. He escaped with a no-decision despite allowing five runs and eight hits in just 3 1/3 innings.

That disappointment was nothing compared to Sunday, when he surrendered a career-high 10 runs in one-plus innings in a 15-6 loss to the Yankees.

"I never got into a rhythm out there," Bannister said. "When I tried to hit the corners, I missed. When I came over the plate, they hit it hard."

Bannister gave up six runs in the first inning after being staked to a 3-0 lead. He yielded four more runs without retiring a batter in the second inning.

The damage included a three-run homer by Alex Rodriguez that tied the game, a bases-empty drive by Xavier Nady that put New York on top and a grand slam by Jason Giambi.

"It’s a lack of command and control and, at this point, confidence," manager Trey Hillman said. "It started with the hanging breaking ball to Alex on an 0-2 pitch. It just dominoed."

Bannister had never allowed more than seven runs in any of his previous 57 career starts. He became the second Royals pitcher to allow 10 runs at Yankee Stadium. Jeremy Affeldt did it in a 15-4 loss on May 27, 2006 but spread the damage over 5 1/3 innings.

Ruth’s House

The Royals finished 38 years at Yankee Stadium by losing twice as many as they won at 67-134. That record doesn’t include a 5-7 mark against the Yankees at Shea Stadium in 1974-75, when Yankee Stadium underwent remodeling.

Here are the franchise’s all-time leaders in its 201 all-time games at the House that Ruth Built. All stats include only those attained while playing for the Royals:

Batting average (minimum 50 plate appearances): 1. Willie Aikens .347; 2. Darryl Motley .328; 3. Jim Eisenreich .321; 4. Darrell Porter .321; 5. Carlos Beltran .319.

Home runs: 1. George Brett 17; 2. Darrell Porter 7; 3. Amos Otis 6; 4(tied). Bo Jackson, Hal McRae and Danny Tartabull 5.

RBIs: 1. George Brett 50; 2. Hal McRae 40; 3. Amos Otis 29; 4. Frank White 28; 5. Darrell Porter 21.

At-bats: 1. George Brett 350; 2. Willie Wilson 300; 3. Frank White 284; 4. Amos Otis 249; 5. Hal McRae 229.

Innings pitched: 1. Mark Gubicza 97 2/3; 2. Paul Splittorff 87 1/3; 3. Larry Gura 85; 4. Bud Black 50 1/3; 5. Kevin Appier 48 2/3.

Wins: 1. Larry Gura 7; 2. Paul Splittorff 6; 3(tied). Mark Gubicza and Bret Saberhagen 3.

Losses: 1. Bud Black 8; 2. Mark Gubicza 7; 3(tied). Dick Drago and Paul Splittorff 6; 5. Charlie Leibrandt 5.

Saves: 1. Jeff Montgomery 11; 2. Dan Quisenberry 6; 3. Steve Mingori 5; 4. Joakim Soria 3; 5. Gene Garber 2.

Lowest ERA (minimum 15 innings): 1. Vida Blue 0.92; 2. Ken Wright 1.56; 3. Andy Hassler 1.57; 4. Jeff Montgomery 1.78; 5. Kevin Appier 2.59.

Highest ERA (minimum 15 innings): 1. Rich Gale 14.62; 2. Jeremy Affeldt 11.07; 3. Zack Greinke 8.82; 4. Glendon Rusch 7.36; 5. Dennis Leonard 7.13.

Rehab updates

Left-hander Jimmy Gobble allowed five runs in just 1 2/3 innings Saturday in a rehab start for Class AAA Omaha at Oklahoma. He walked four, gave up four hits and threw just 28 strikes in 58 pitches.

It was Gobble’s fourth rehab start in an effort to recover from a strained lower back. He has allowed eight runs and 12 hits in 9 1/3 innings while striking out 12 and walking eight.

Infielder Alberto Callaspo is scheduled to begin to rehab assignment after working himself into playing shape at Omaha. Callapso was placed on the disabled list June 28 for undisclosed medical reasons one day after being cited for driving under the influence.

Minor details

First baseman Kila Kaaihue hit his eighth homer in 18 games since his promotion to Omaha in Saturday’s 7-3 loss at Oklahoma.

Kaaihue also had a double in raising his average to .349. He batted .314 with 26 homers and 79 RBIs in 91 games at Class AA Northwest Arkansas before his promotion.

Looking back

It was 15 years ago Monday — Aug. 18, 1983 — that the Royals returned to Yankee Stadium on an open date for the completion of the "Pine-Tar Game."

The game, which started July 24, was ordered resumed from the point at which George Brett gave the Royals a 5-4 lead by hitting a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning against Goose Gossage.

Dan Quisenberry retired the Yankees in order in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the victory.

Etc.

Yankees starter Mike Mussina got his 266th career victory, which ties Bob Feller and Eppa Rixey for 34th on baseball’s all-time list.

The Royals settled for a 5-5 tie in the season series after dropping their last two games to the Yankees. They haven’t won the season series since going 5-4 in 1999.

The Yankees’ 17 hits were their highest total since getting 19 against the Royals in a 12-11 victory on June 7.

Alex Rodriguez has 40 career homers against the Royals. That ranks third all-time among opponents. White Sox DH Jim Thome and now-retired Rafael Palmeiro have 41.

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