(Sports Network) - The finale of the series between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals could be a historic one, as Alex Rodriguez comes into the matchup one home run shy of becoming the seventh member of the 600 home run club.
Rodriguez has hit memorable homers against the Royals in the past, as the illustrious third baseman clubbed his first-ever homer and his 500th long ball against Kansas City.
A long ball from A-Rod might be needed in today's matchup, as the Yankees' starting pitcher Phil Hughes is scuffling through a major slump. In his last four starts the hard-throwing right-hander has surrendered 19 runs in 23 2/3 innings. Hughes has been pounded for 31 hits during that span, and that includes six home runs.
The last time the young hurler took the hill he was battered by the Angels, allowing six runs on nine hits and three walks. It was just the second home loss on the year for Hughes, who despite winning six of his 10 starts at Yankee Stadium, also possesses a meager 5.22 ERA in front of the home crowd.
Surprisingly the Royals have dominated Hughes in his young career. In three appearances -- two starts -- against KC, he has allowed nine runs on 13 hits and six walks in 8 2/3 innings.
The Royals will turn to newly acquired Sean O'Sullivan this afternoon. O'Sullivan came over in a trade with the Angels that sent Alberto Callaspo to Anaheim. Before being traded O'Sullivan made his first start on the year for the Angels, and ironically that came against Hughes and New York.
The California native received 10 runs in support and handled his business on the mound, holding the Yankees to just two runs in six innings. That was the first-ever meeting for the young hurler against the Bronx Bombers.
On Saturday, Scott Podsednik went 3-for-4, scored once and drove in a run, leading Kansas City to a 7-4 win. Jose Guillen added his 16th homer and drove in two runs, while Rick Ankiel also had two RBI for the Royals, who won for only the third time in 12 games overall.
Kyle Davies (5-6) recorded his first win since May 28th, going eight starts without one, after yielding four runs, seven hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. Joakim Soria locked down his 27th save.
Mark Teixeira blasted two homers and drove in three for the Yankees, who fell to 5-3 on a nine-game homestand. Jorge Posada also homered in defeat.
Rodriguez, sitting on 599 career homers and facing Davies, off whom he belted his 500th home run, went 1-for-4 with an infield single.
Sergio Mitre (0-2) made his first start since May 16 and gave up seven runs -- five earned -- and seven hits in 4 1/3 frames. He is filling in for Andy Pettitte, who is expected to be out about a month with an injured groin.
Despite the loss the Yankees still own a commanding 16-5 ledger against the Royals at home.