Rapid Reaction: Royals 11, Yankees 5

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What it means: The Yankees are playing some sloppy baseball. Robinson Cano and Francisco Cervelli made a couple of errors in the Royals' six-run second inning. The Yankees are just not a crisp team right now. They were down eight runs by the end of the third inning. The Yankees are now 5-6 in their last 11 games.

Ultimately, it means they need to tighten it up. Johnette Howard is writing a column about the way the Yanks are playing.

Ivan The Terrible Ivan Novaleft in the fourth without even getting an out. After three straight really good starts, this is the type of night you get with a younger starter tryng to find his way. It didn't help that the Yankees committed the two errors, but Nova was plenty bad on his own.

Nova is buddies with A.J. Burnett and so far his season has been very A.J-like.

The final line for him was three innings, eight runs (four earned) on 10 hits. He gave up two homers. Just a bad, bad night. Nova next pitches in Tampa on Tuesday.

Jeter Meter: After going 1-for- 4, Derek Jeter is 37 away from 3,000. In the seventh, Jeter had one of his classic singles, a soft bouncer up the middle that Royals second baseman Mike Aviles and shortstop Alcides Escobar, both couldn't get to. It was a classic Jeter, not hard, but perfect spot hit. With the single, Jeter tied Sam Crawfordfor 29th on the allt-time list with his 2,963rd of his career. Jeter also had a sac fly in the fifth.

What is next:The Red Sox come to the Bronx for three. The hype could be dimmed by the Sawx' record, but it would be foolish to think they may not rebound -- and in a big way. The pitching matchups this weekend favor the Red Sox. It starts with Big Bartolo, who said he will address his somewhat controversial surgery that MLB is investigating after his start. Here is the story where I speak to every doctor that has ever treated him, except his peditrician.

On Friday, Colon (2-1, 3.86 ERA) will face Clay Bucholz (3-3, 4.19); Saturday, CC Sabathia (3-2, 2.89) vs. Josh Beckett (2-1, 1.99 ERA). And on Sunday Night Baseball, it will be Freddy Garcia (2-2, 2.61) vs. Jon Lester (4-1, 2.96).

For more on the Yankees and Red Sox, check out Hot Button.

Question of the Night: Are you pumped for the Red Sox series or does Boston's slow start damper your enthusiasm?