It doesn't seem to matter which names New York manager Joe Torre writes into his lineup card. These Yankees can't seem to lose.
Rookie Shane Spencer went 5-for-5 with his first two major-league homers and David Wells (14-2) ran his home record to 9-0 for the Yankees, who have beaten the Royals six straight times this season.
In the opener, David Cone became the majors' first 16-game winner and Darryl Strawberry homered in New York's 8-2 win.
Bernie Williams hit a two-run homer and Luis Sojo drove in three runs in the night game for New York.
Spencer hit a solo homer in the seventh inning before connecting on a two-run shot in the Yankees' five-run eighth. It was the first five-hit game for a Yankee this season.
Chuck Knoblauch also homered in the second game as the Yankees improved to 82-29. On pace to the break the 1906 Chicago Cubs' record of 116 wins in a season, the Yankees will play 33 of their final 51 games at Yankee Stadium, where they are 40-8.
Wells allowed six hits, struck out four and walked none in his second straight complete game and fourth this year.
Torre rested Paul O'Neill, Tino Martinez, Darryl Strawberry and Scott Brosius in the second game and the Yankees didn't miss a beat. Spencer and Sojo, replacing O'Neill and Martinez, went a combined 8-for-10 with five runs scored and six RBI.
Kansas City's Jose Offerman tripled in the ninth inning of the second game to extend his hitting streak to 27 games.
Knoblauch opened the third inning with his 14th homer, setting a new career-high for the second baseman, who has 10 homers since July 10.
An RBI single by Sojo and Knoblauch's sacrifice fly gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the fourth.
In the fifth, Williams, batting right-handed against lefty Chris Haney (4-5), followed a single by Tim Raines with his 14th homer to make it 5-1. The Yankees added three more runs in the inning, highlighted by Sojo's two-run triple.
Haney gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Cone (16-4) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings in the opener, improving to 10-0 at home this season. He struck out five and walked none.
After off-season shoulder surgery, Cone wasn't expected to be ready for the start of the season, but was. There were many who doubted the 35-year-old would be able to be as effective as he had been in the past, but he is.
"It's been a long road to get here," Cone said. "Sixteen wins is amazing to me. But it's just a byproduct of a great team record."
The last time Cone won 16 games was with the Royals in 1994, and only one other time in his career has surpassed that many wins, going 20-3 with the Mets in 1988.
"I think I have been much more consistent than I expected to be this year," he said. "On this team, that's good enough."
Strawberry hit his 21st homer in the third inning, an upper-deck shot to right off Pat Rapp (9-11) that put the Yankees up 6-1. Strawberry, who's reached 20 homers for the first time since 1991, has nine homers in his last 30 t-bats and his last six hits have all been home runs.
Rapp was tagged for eight runs and 10 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
© 1998 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved