When is it time to worry about the Yankees' offense?
The Yankees scored fewer runs than any team in baseball during June. Now they've gone three straight games without scoring more than one.
And this team hasn't been able to win without run support. After their 3-1 loss to the Royals on Tuesday, the Yankees are 1-28 this season when they don't score at least three runs.
The Yankees might have their best chance to get the offense going this series on Wednesday, when they face struggling Royals starter Wade Davis, who was knocked out of his start on June 29 against the Twins after getting just three outs and has a 5.42 ERA on the season.
"Awful outing," Royals manager Ned Yost described it.
Looking past that one blowup, though, Davis, who was acquired in the trade that brought James Shields over from Tampa Bay, has four quality starts in his last five outings. He's also been on the unlucky side, having posted a .383 BABIP this season while allowing 32 percent of baserunners to score. And his FIP, which measures a pitchers' ERA independent of the fielding behind him, is 4.20.
"I've been pretty antsy wanting to get back out there and do a little better, and get things going in the right direction," Davis said.
The Royals have picked up a couple of rare wins at Yankee Stadium this week. Before their last two victories, they were 5-8 in the Bronx since the new building opened in 2009. But they've now won two in a row and five of their last seven.
"This is a tough place to come in here and get a win, especially for us," said Billy Butler. "I've been up here a while now, and it's been tough for us every year I've been here to come in and get a win."
They'll try to put together some offense against Ivan Nova, who has been throwing the ball as good as anybody over his last 26 1/3 innings, striking out 28 batters and allowing just eight runs in that span.
Nova has temporarily taken over the starting rotation spot of David Phelps, who is on the 15-day disabled list. And he's looked like a keeper.
Nova held the Orioles to two runs in a complete-game win while striking out 11 his last time out.
"It's an unbelievable feeling the way I've been throwing the ball lately," Nova said. "We just got to keep it going."
Yankees: Gardner turns a corner
Brett Gardner had his first two-hit game in over a week on Tuesday night, going 2-for-4 in the Yankees' loss.
He was 1-for-25 over his last six games before Tuesday, and he had struck out in 16 straight games, setting a new franchise record.
"He's just kind of been in a little funk right now. I can't really put my finger on it," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's just struggling a little bit."
Royals: Back-to-back for Butler
Billy Butler's power had to be coming. The Royals were sure of it. Perhaps it's ready to erupt.
Butler went deep Tuesday to mark the first time he's homered in back-to-back games this season. He did it five times in 2012, when he hit 29 homers.
The first baseman now has eight homers on the season.
• Gregg Holland recorded his 22nd save of the season Tuesday and has converted 15 consecutive save opportunities. He has 60 strikeouts in 35 innings.
• Robinson Cano moved up on the Yankees' all-time hits list Tuesday when he recorded his 1,558th career hit with a first-inning single, tying Thurman Munson for 18th place.