KANSAS CITY — Roger Clemens got his 351st career win and Alex Rodriguez became the first player to reach 100 RBIs this season, leading the New York Yankees to a 9-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday night that extended their winning streak to four.
Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon and Jorge Posada drove in two runs each for the Yankees, who have won nine of 11 and pulled within 5½ games of Cleveland, the AL wild-card leader.
New York (52-46) moved six games over .500 for the first time this season.
On a night for fathers, Yankees first base coach Tony Pena, a former Royals manager, watched his son play in the major leagues for the first time. Tony Pena Jr. started at shortstop for the Royals and went 1-for-2 with a hit by pitch.
St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan, father of Yankees rookie Shelley Duncan, also watched his son play in the big leagues for the first time. Shelley Duncan made his major league debut Friday, hit a home run Saturday against Tampa Bay, then hit two more Sunday. In the starting lineup at designated hitter as the Yankees rested Bobby Abreu and shifted Damon to center, Duncan was 1-for-5 against the Royals.
Clemens (3-4) gave up two runs and four hits in seven innings, walking none and striking out three. The Rocket improved to 6-0 against Kansas City in seven starts with the Yankees.
Clemens, who lowered his ERA to 3.72, had been 0-1 with two no-decisions since beating Minnesota on July 2. He allowed a run-scoring wild pitch in the fourth and Ross Gload’s home run in the seventh.
Rodriguez was 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI single off Ryan Braun in a five-run ninth.
Kansas City’s Odalis Perez (5-9) gave up four runs, eight hits and three walks in seven innings.
After reaching 20 hits in consecutive games for the first time in a century against the Devil Rays over the weekend, the Yankees had 13 more.
Matsui, who has 19 RBIs in July, hit a two-run, two-out single in the first, and Damon made it 4-0 with a two-run double in the second.