By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Sports Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Royals were a couple of weeks into spring training and veteran right-hander Chris Young was still on the market when general manager Dayton Moore approached manager Ned Yost one day and asked whether they should try signing him.
Yost spent a few seconds recalling the way Young shut down the Royals last season, when he was with Seattle, and replied: "Heck yeah. Let's go get him."
Signed to provide bullpen support, Young made another strong case to have a permanent spot in the rotation Friday night. He held down the Yankees into the sixth inning, and backed by plenty of offense from Lorenzo Cain and Kendrys Morales, helped Kansas City to a 12-1 victory.
"I just tried to hold the game close and the guys came through," Young said.
Cain had a career-high five RBIs, Morales drove in three more runs and just about everyone in the Kansas City lineup took their shots against Yankees starter Michael Pineda. The result was a dominant win to open a three-game set between division leaders.
"We swung the bat well as a team tonight," Cain said. "That's all you can ask for."
Young (3-0) allowed just four hits and two walks over 5 2-3 innings in his third solid spot start. The 6-foot-10 veteran is replacing injured Jason Vargas in the rotation.
"We just take it day by day," Yost said, when asked about his rotation going forward. "If we run into an issue in a certain area, we definitely have him available."
Pineda (5-1), coming off a masterful 16-strikeout performance against Baltimore, only struck out one while matching a career worst with 10 hits allowed. Pineda was responsible for five runs in 5 1-3 innings, matching a season high set in a win over the Orioles last month.
"I felt great before the game," he said. "I go out there and do my best to win the game. Sometimes it happens. I'm keeping my head up, continue working and be ready for next time."
Pineda hung tough through the first five innings, the only damage an RBI single by Cain in the first inning and a sacrifice fly by the Royals outfielder in the fourth.
Brian McCann had a sacrifice fly for New York in the top of the fourth inning.
Everything unraveled for the AL East-leading Yankees in the fifth, though. The Royals sent 11 batters to the plate, pounded out six hits and churned through Pineda and two relievers.
Omar Infante and Paulo Orlando drove in runs to start the onslaught, and Cain added a two-run single off Justin Wilson later in the inning. By the time Morales and Alex Gordon drove in runs, Yankees manager Joe Girardi was probably getting fatigued walking to the mound.
Jose Ramirez, just recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, finally got the Yankees out of the inning. But by then, the AL Central-leading Royals had pushed their lead to 8-1.
The only drama left was whether Mike Moustakas would hit for the cycle.
The Kansas City third baseman tripled, doubled and singled his first three times at bat. He grounded out in the sixth, but brought a crowd of 34,584 to its feet when he sent a fly ball down the left-field line in the seventh that bounced just a few feet from the top of the wall.
He wound up with an RBI double, giving him four hits for the fourth time in his career.
"We just played a great game tonight," Moustakas said. "Cycle or no cycle, we just played a really good game."
The Royals' Eric Hosmer had a single in the fifth inning, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. ... The Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury went 0 for 2 with a pair of walks. He had hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games.
Yankees: RHP Chase Whitley (elbow sprain) went on the DL. He will be evaluated again by team physician Christopher Ahmad on Monday before deciding whether to have Tommy John surgery. ... RHP Masahiro Tanaka (wrist tendinitis) threw 35 pitches in the bullpen before the game. The Yankees still have not set a date for a rehab assignment.
Royals: RF Alex Rios (fractured hand) continues to hit off a tee, though it's unclear when he will return. ... Vargas played catch before the game. He expects to throw a bullpen session soon.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (1-5) is coming off his first win of the season at Tampa Bay.
Royals: LHP Danny Duffy (2-2) tries to bounce back from two straight lousy starts.
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