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NYY@MIN: CC strikes out nine to earn his 200th win

Yankees starter CC Sabathia picked up his 200th career victory and made the history books in his last outing.

He'll look to notch career win No. 201 when he squares off against James Shields and the Royals on Tuesday.

After all, the Yankees trail the first-place Red Sox by five games in the American League East. The Royals are in third place in the AL Central.

"He's been huge," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You think about all the wins that he's had, and I'm glad to get that out of the way for him. I don't like milestones. Players are going to think about it, and people are going to ask him about it. For CC, I think it's great. He's been huge for this organization."

Sabathia has been pitching better lately. He held the Twins to two runs over seven innings while striking out nine in his last start while throwing a season-high 121 pitches. The veteran has not faced the Royals this season, but he is 18-10 with a 3.26 ERA against them in his career.

As for Shields, he is in a bit of a three-game slump and is looking to turn things around. He has one win and two no-decisions during that span but has a 6.48 ERA, pushing his season ERA over 3.00 for the first time all season.

He's also pitched fewer than six innings in two of those starts.

Shields labored through a 34-pitch first inning against the Indians in his last start.

"In the beginning of the game I was just missing my fastball," Shields said. "I kind of settled in, but it was about 80 pitches later. I've got to do a better job early in the game of getting ahead of batters."

Royals: Chen to the rotation
• Bruce Chen is moving back into the rotation and will start Friday in place of Luis Mendoza, who is moving to the bullpen.

"It could kind of be the best of both worlds for us," said Royals manager Ned Yost. "Mendy fits really good in the 'pen as a long guy and a middle guy, so we think it's beneficial."

• A Royals starter has pitched at least six innings in 62 of the first 85 games this season. Last season, the starting pitchers didn't reach that mark until game No. 134.

• The club launched the Royal Rewards program on Monday where fans will have the opportunity to win prizes by engaging in social media. Fans can enroll in Royal Rewards by creating a profile on royals.com/rewards or by logging in with their MLB.com account information.

Yankees: Cano picks Derby teammates
• American League Home Run Derby team captain Robinson Cano chose Orioles first baseman Chris Davis and Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder to join him on the squad. He was waiting to hear back from his final choice for the AL squad and left one spot open.

New York Mets third baseman and National League team captain David Wright chose Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper along with Rockies' corner outfielders, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer to join him on the NL squad.

• David Robertson was named an American League Final Vote candidate and was in third place in the first voting update released Monday morning. Fans can vote for David Robertson by visiting mlb.com/finalvote or by texting "A3" to 89269.

• The Yankees are 17-14 in series openers in 2013, including a 10-6 mark in openers at home, winning two of three and seven of their last 10.

Worth noting
• Derek Jeter continued his rehab assignment with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday with a start at shortstop, reaching base twice and scoring a run.

• The 30th anniversary of the Pine Tar Game between the Royals and the Yankees is July 24.

• The Yankees have gone 14-4 against the AL Central this season.

• Royals left fielder Alex Gordon and catcher Salvador Perez are the first Kansas City duo to attend the All-Star Game since Mike Sweeney and Mike MacDougal were selected in 2003.

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