May 12, 2011 / 4:30 AM / in 7 years

Royals knock out wobbly Yankees

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Kansas City Royals knocked down Robinson Cano then pushed past the rest of his New York Yankees team mates to defeat the pinstripes 4-3 in the 11th inning on Wednesday.

Cano left the game early after he was struck on the side of his helmet by a 93-mph (150 km/h) fastball from Kansas City pitcher Nate Adcock.

The Yankees’ second baseman collapsed to the dirt but got back on to his feet after being treated by a trainer. He smiled as he made his way back to the dugout by was taken to nearby hospital for precautionary tests.

“Robbie went for a catscan. He said he was OK as he went toward first base, but when you get hit in the head like that you have to get the tests,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

“We had a ton of opportunities,” the manager added, referring to the 15 baserunners stranded by his team. “We just never cashed in. The bottom line is, we’re better than this. We’re just struggling offensively.”

The Yankees, professional baseball’s richest team, were leading 2-1 when Cano departed in the fifth, courtesy of Curtis Granderson’s major league-best 12th home run, but could not close out against the Royals, who have the smallest payroll in the league.

The Royals tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the eighth inning, then took the lead in the 10th when Jeff Francoeur, who was struck by a wayward pitch from Yankees starter A.J. Burnett just after Cano was felled, doubled right-center field.

“Adcock’s a rookie. No way was he throwing at Cano. That was absolutely an accident,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.

“I don’t think Burnett hitting Francoeur was an accident.”

The Yankees immediately drew level and forced an 11th inning when the athletic Granderson stroked a two-out, RBI single, but Eric Hosmer, a 21-year-old rookie regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the game, followed up his first career home run with a go-ahead sacrifice fly.

“I‘m glad he got the one here,” Yost said. “We think a lot of his capabilities. He got the job done for us.”

Editing by Larry Fine

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