Series: Game 3 of 3

New York won 3-0

Game 1: Tuesday, August 13
New York 10Final
Kansas City 5
Game 2: Wednesday, August 14
New York 3Final
in 14
Kansas City 2
Game 3: Thursday, August 15
New York 7Final
Kansas City 5

Yankees 7

(75-44, 39-24 away)

Royals 5

(48-73, 32-29 home)

    8:05 PM ET, August 15, 2002

    Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri 

    123456789 R H E
    NYY 010111003 7 - -
    KC 020002100 5 - -

    W: M. Stanton (6-1)

    L: R. Hernandez (1-3)

    S: M. Rivera (27)

    Mondesi's homer gives Yanks' fourth straight win

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Raul Mondesi got a big break, and he took advantage of it.

    Bernie Williams

    Raul Mondesi

    Mondesi hit a two-run homer with one out in the ninth inning and Bernie Williams went 5-for-5 as the New York Yankees rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night to complete a three-game sweep.

    Roberto Hernandez almost retired Mondesi, but catcher A.J. Hinch got a late break on a low pop behind the plate and the ball hit off his glove as he lunged for it.

    Mondesi hit the next pitch into the bullpen in left field for his 23rd homer.

    "I was supposed to be out,'' Mondesi said. "He dropped the ball and I said, 'I've got another chance. Let's see if I can put the ball in play.'''

    The Yankees won their fourth straight game to move a season-high 31 games over .500. They beat the Royals for the fifth time in six meetings this year and improved to 33-8 against Kansas City since the beginning of the 1998 season.

    Williams led off the ninth against Hernandez (1-3) with a single, tying his career high with five hits. He moved to second on a groundout, bringing up Mondesi.

    "We had a lot of big hits tonight, not the least of which was Mondesi's homer,'' manager Joe Torre said. "This is probably his defining moment tonight, like Jason's (Giambi) grand slam that night against Minnesota.''

    Jorge Posada added an RBI single in the ninth for the Yankees, who matched last year's total by winning for the 17th time in their final at-bat.

    Williams tied Tony Lazzeri for 10th place on the team's career list with 1,784 hits. Williams has hits in six straight plate appearances, including the go-ahead single in the 14th inning Wednesday night. He is second in the AL with a .333 average.

    "I feel really good at the plate,'' Williams said. "I got some good pitches and I was able to put a good swing on them. I think I am being more aggressive, and that's a key. I have more confidence in my swing.''

    The Yankees have won seven straight games in Kansas City and 12 of 13 overall.

    "It's good to get a sweep,'' Torre said. "We've won some series, but after losing two games to Oakland, to come back on Sunday and win and then carry it over after the off day I thought was important.''

    The Yankees head into a showdown with Seattle feeling good about how they're playing.

    "It's going to be a test for us, but we're looking forward to the challenge,'' Williams said. "We have a great thing going right now and we hope to keep it going.''

    Hernandez blew his seventh save in 26 chances as the Royals lost for the fifth time this season when leading after eight innings. Kansas City hasn't recorded a save in 26 games since the opener of a doubleheader against Cleveland on July 20.

    "It was a slider down. It got more of the plate than I wanted, but it was still down in the zone,'' Hernandez said. "When you're struggling like we are to get wins and you think you make the pitch and then you see it flying out to the bullpen, it's tough to take.''

    Mike Stanton (6-1) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win, and Mariano Rivera got three outs for his 27th save in 31 chances.

    Shane Spencer made a diving catch in left field to end the game with a runner on second base.

    Michael Tucker and Raul Ibanez hit solo homers in the second inning for Kansas City against Orlando Hernandez, who gave up five runs -- four earned -- and 10 hits in seven innings.

    John Vander Wal's leadoff homer tied it in the fourth for the Yankees against Miguel Asencio.

    Mondesi walked with the bases loaded in the fifth and Derek Jeter added an RBI single in the sixth as New York took a 4-2 lead.

    "You can't take lightly the walk he got with the bases loaded,'' Torre said. "Even though he's aggressive, I thought he showed a lot of restraint in that at-bat.''

    The Royals tied it in the sixth, with the benefit of two wild pitches by Orlando Hernandez. Joe Randa and Tucker had RBI singles in the inning.

    Kansas City went ahead 5-4 in the seventh on Mike Sweeney's sacrifice fly.

    Asencio gave up four runs, 10 hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings.

    Game notes

    The Royals have blown three saves since converting their last successful one. ... Williams extended his hitting streak to eight games. He has 15 hits in his last 26 at-bats (.577). ... Yankees 2B Alfonso Soriano stole his AL-leading 32nd base of the season in the eighth inning. ... Tucker is 19-for-50 (.380) in his last 13 games. ... The three games in the series took 11 hours, 35 minutes combined.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press