Alex Rodriguez brought himself just one blast away from the 600 home run plateau with a line-drive shot in the seventh inning over the rightfield wall. CC Sabathia allowed 11 hits – tying a season-high – and four runs (three earned) through 6 1/3 innings of work, but picked up his 13th win. It was a wild night that saw a balk, an inside-the-parker, and a test on keeping score, as the Royals bowed down in a 10-4 Yankees win.

We have liftoff; AP

Initial Reaction:

This game was filled with “Holy Cow!” moments. Derek Jeter hit an inside-the-park home run on a deep drive that was caught by the Royals’ David DeJesus, but DeJesus crashed into the wall glove-first, causing the ball to pop out. It was the second inside-round-trip of Jeter’s career (the first came in 1996 – with erie similarities).

Another strange play involved Jorge Posada, who allowed a run to score on a bizarre throwing error. With one out and a runner on third following a double and a balk, Posada blocked a wild pitch that was the third strike to Yuniesky Betancourt. Standing in front of the plate, he saw the runner off the bag at third and tried to catch him napping. The throw went wide and the runner came home while Betancourt wound up on second. In case you’re keeping score at home (does anyone do that? Email us if you are a baseball fan and keep score from home), it was scored: a strikeout and wild pitch, an error on Posada that allowed the runner to score, and Betancourt advanced to second.

In a night full of oddities, one thing remained constant: Alex Rodriguez hit another home run, No. 599, on his march toward history. Rodriguez is one home run away from becoming just the seventh player in baseball history to hit 600 home runs and at only 34 years old (he turns 35 next Tuesday), he would also become the youngest player in baseball history to reach that milestone.

On the mound, “Big Stoppa” CC Sabathia struggled a bit through 6 1/3 innings but he still picked up his 13th victory. Sabathia gave up four runs (three earned), 11 hits, four walks, and struck out nine. Reliever David Robertson did a very nice job picking up Sabathia in the seventh inning, getting two key outs with runners on base and the Yankees holding just a 5-4 lead.

Positives From The Game:

The Yankees’ 1-4 hitters: 10-for-20; six runs scored; eight RBI; four RBI with 2 outs.

A-Rod: 3-for-5, 4 RBI, and HR 599

Negatives From The Game:

On a night that makes me wonder how unbelievable A-Rod’s career numbers could look once his career is over, it’s hard for me to point out negatives – but, this jumped off the page. The Royals went 4-17 with runners in scoring position. The Royals had 17 at-bats to drive in a runner from scoring position; can’t give a team that many opportunities, whether they’re missed opportunities or not. But that’s really a testament to how the Yanks’ pitching held base and didn’t allow most of those runners to score; so really it’s more of a positive. See what I did there?

Interesting Facts:

The last time the Royals won a series against the Yankees in the Bronx was in 1999. It’s been 11 years since K-Ci – who visits the Bronx once every year – has taken a series from the Yanks.

Next year, the above fact will read “It’s been 12 years since…”

Mark Teixeira reached base safely for the 38th straight game.

Kansas City led the majors with a .281 batting average entering the game.

What’s Next?:

The Yankees will look to win game two of their four-game tilt with Kansas City, and Alex Rodriguez will try to join the 600 Home Run Club.

Friday, 7:05, YES: Brian Bannister (7-8, 5.65 ERA) vs. AJ Burnett (7-8, 4.99 ERA)

Pray for Good AJ.