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Yanks Cap Season Sweep Of Royals


Milestones are piling up so fast, the New York Yankees can hardly keep track.

When Chad Curtis snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a run-scoring single in the 13th inning for a 3-2 victory over Kansas City Tuesday night, two more entries went into the books.

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  • At 92-30, the Yankees are the first team to be 62 games over .500 after 122 games. And with a 10-0 record against Kansas City, it's the first time in a non-strike year any Yankees team ever swept an AL opponent for an entire season.

    "It's incredible," manager Joe Torre said. "Every time you come in here after a game, we're either tied with somebody or we just did something that somebody else did 50 years ago. And now you tell me tonight we did something for the first time. That's nice to know. It makes you feel good."

    The Yankees, 9-0 against Cleveland in the strike-shortened 1994 season when three games were canceled, have outscored the Royals 77-21 this year.

    "They are an amazing team," said Royals closer Jeff Montgomery, who pitched two scoreless innings. "In my 12 years in the major leagues, I've played against just about every one of those guys when they were with different clubs. And almost to a man, they were not as good then as they are now that they're together."

    The Yankees have won 12 of 13 and 15 of 17 overall, moving 62 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 28, 1939, when they were 105-43. New York remains on pace to break the record of 116 wins set by th1906 Chicago Cubs.

    After mariano Rivera failed to hold a 2-1 lead in the ninth, Bernie Williams led off the 13th with his third hit, a single off Matt Whisenant (1-1). Williams, who earlier homered for the third straight game, advanced on a two-out wild pitch and scored on Curtis' single.

    "I was just in one of those awful spells," Curtis said. "When you're able to come through like that, it does help your confidence."

    Joe Borowski (1-0) pitched two innings for his first win since May 1997, when he was with Atlanta.

    "To be able to get my first American League victory with a team I grew up loving is something special," said Borowski, who grew up in the New York area. "It's special to be on a team like this because they're capable of doing so much. I'm honored. Whatever I can do, I'll do it."

    Rivera, who had converted 22 straight save opportunities since June 1, got in trouble in the ninth by walking Luis Rivera with one out. Terry Pendleton singled, the runners advanced on Jorge Posada's passed ball and Mike Sweeney hit a sacrifice fly.

    Williams, who leads the AL in hitting at .358, had put the Yankees ahead in the second with his 20th homer, extending New York's major-league record of consecutive games with leads to 47.

    Kansas City, which has lost nine of 12, tied it in the fifth on Larry Sutton's homer, but Darryl Strawberry had an RBI single off the glove of second baseman Jose Offerman in the sixth.

    "I don't keep records, but they beat us 10 in a row," Kansas City manager Tony Muser said. "There are truths. Does that put us in the history books? I guess it does."

    Yankees starter Orlando Hernandez allowed five hits in 7 2/3 innings -- his fourth straight start with five hits or fewer. Pat Rapp allowed two runs and five hits in six innings.

    What kind of night was it for the Royals?

    Third baseman Dean Palmer, who leads Kansas City with 27 homers and 86 RBI, was ejected by third-base umpire Jim Joyce while the Yankees were batting in the fifth for arguing that plate umpire Jim McKean wasn't doing a good job calling balls and strikes.

    Notes

  • It was the second straight night Williams led off the second with a home run.
  • The Yankees have not failed to lead in a game since June 28, a 2-1 loss at the Mets. They are 37-10 in that span.
  • Royals first baseman Hal Morris left after the second inning because of muscle spasms in his back. He was replaced by Sutton, who started the game in left.
  • The Yankees have hit 67 homers since the All-Star break, the most in the majors. They have 39 in their last 20 games.
  • Yankees pitchers have given up the fewest home runs (113) in the league.
  • Offerman has hit in 35 of 37 games.

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