(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Yankees will try to extend a four-game winning streak on Monday night as they return to Kansas City for a makeup game with the Royals.
Tonight's contest was made necessary when the finale of a four-game set between these clubs on June 9 was postponed. The Yankees won the opener of the series before the Royals bounced back with two straight wins.
The Yankees are coming off a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox, winning Sunday's finale 7-4 thanks to pinch-hitter Brian McCann's three-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning.
"It was awesome," McCann said. "To come off the bench, you know, pinch-hitting is not the easiest thing to do. So to get a pitch up in the zone and not miss it with the game on the line was special."
New York is 3 1/2 games out of the second wild card spot in the American League and will start Michael Pineda tonight.
Pineda has not gotten a decision in two starts since coming off the disabled list, but has allowed just three runs, six hits and one walk over 11 innings against Baltimore and Houston.
"He was pretty good. I thought he got a little tired at the end, but that's to be expected," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said about Pineda after his six- inning outing on Wednesday versus the Astros. "We pushed him a little bit, but I thought he gave us a really good performance."
The 25-year-old righty is 2-2 with a 2.05 earned run average in six starts this year and has split two previous meetings with the Royals while posting a 2.57 ERA.
Kansas City is coming off a 6-3 road trip and leads the Detroit Tigers by two games for first place in the AL Central. This contest extends the Royals' homestand to 10 games and they'll look to bounce back after a 3-1 loss to Texas on Sunday.
Jason Vargas went six innings and was charged with three runs -- two earned -- on 11 hits and four walks.
"I thought it was a start that he really had to grind out," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I thought he did a phenomenal job. He didn't have any clean innings, but I thought he did a phenomenal job keeping us in the game."
Yost has to also be happy with how James Shields has pitched as of late and the right-hander goes tonight having posted a 3-0 mark over his last four starts.
Shields is coming off a 7-4 win over Colorado on Tuesday, when he yielded a pair of runs over six innings while striking out six. That improved him to 12-6 on the year with a 3.28 ERA.
The 32-year-old beat the Yankees on June 8 by a 2-1 score, charged with one unearned run over six frames. However, that still left Shields just 9-15 in his career versus New York with a 4.20 ERA.