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Yankees taking scuffling offence to Seattle as final game of Royals series is rained out

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Manager Joe Girardi will have an extra day to contemplate ways to ignite the Yankees' lineup.

New York's game Monday night against the Kansas City Royals was postponed about two hours before the scheduled first pitch because of rain. The game will be made up on Aug. 25 at a time to be determined.

Now, the Bronx Bombers will take their slingshot offence to Seattle and Oakland to continue what has already been a disappointing trip. The Yankees won the opener against Kansas City 4-2, but then struggled again to score runs in an 8-4 loss on Saturday and a 2-1 defeat Sunday.

"The one thing you can't do is you can't necessarily change everything," Girardi said. "You look at what guys have done in the past, you look at what guys are doing this year, and you try to piece together what you feel is the best lineup every day.

"We've struggled the last three or four weeks scoring runs. We know we need to score more," he continued, "but guys are going through a time. You just have to ride it out a little bit."

The Yankees, in the bottom half of the league in several offensive categories, have failed to score more than four runs each of their past 10 games, winning just three times in that stretch.

"You are usually not as bad as you look when things are going bad," said Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, who was 0 for 4 on Sunday. "It's like you're usually not as good as you look when things are going good. But we've got to turn it around."

Dazzling import Masahiro Tanaka flew ahead to Seattle in anticipation of starting Tuesday, but Girardi said he plans to push everybody in his rotation back a day. That means left-hander Vidal Nuno will start the opener against the Mariners and Tanaka will pitch Wednesday.

Royals manager Ned Yost also plans to slide his rotation back one day. Left-hander Jason Vargas will now start the opener of a two-game series Tuesday against Cleveland, with right-hander Yordano Ventura on the mound Wednesday. The Royals are off on Thursday.

If there's any team that can commiserate with the Yankees' popgun offence, it just may be the Royals, who are in the bottom third of the league in scoring and last in home runs.

There have been signs the last couple weeks that Kansas City is starting to come out of its early season funk, though, and that resurgence has roughly coincided with some changes to the coaching staff when the team was in Toronto. Pedro Grifol was removed as the hitting coach and the job given to Dale Sveum, who once helped to tutor Milwaukee's young power hitters.

"They've done a better job with their approach, getting pitches up, putting good swings on them. When you have a team you believe in there's a point where it's going to click somewhere," Yost said. "Maybe it clicked in Toronto, I don't know."

Since leaving Toronto, the Royals have won five of their last seven games. Twice they've piled up eight runs, which matched the third-most they've scored in any game all season.

NOTES: The Royals optioned RHP Wilking Rodriguez to Triple-A Omaha and recalled LHP Donnie Joseph, who spent time with the club in April but did not appear in a game. ... Girardi had planned to give CF Jacoby Ellsbury the day off after he reported some soreness in his hip. But the manager expected Ellsbury to play in Seattle. "We're not concerned about it," Girardi said. ... Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira was penciled into the lineup before the rainout. He was held out of the lineup Sunday because of a sore wrist but pinch hit in the ninth inning.

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