KANSAS CITY -- Robinson Cano didn't have much luck swinging for the fences at Kauffman Stadium during last year's All-Star Game Home Run Derby festivities. Maybe he would have fared better with a pink bat.
Cano cleared the right-field wall with a two-run homer off the Royals' Ervin Santana in the Yankees' 4-2 win on Sunday, doing so with a pink Louisville Slugger bat that simultaneously celebrated Mother's Day while helping to raise awareness for breast cancer.
"You know what, when you've got that pink bat on Mother's Day, it's one of the biggest days in baseball," Cano said. "All you want is to go up there and just be able to use that bat the whole game, because if you go 0-for-2, you want to change and go back to the regular bat."
Many more players around the league wore batting gloves, wristbands and other equipment brandished in pink. For example, Yankees right-hander David Robertson took the mound for the eighth inning wearing a pair of bright pink spikes that will be auctioned for charity.
"All of us have mothers, so it's nice to represent them," Yankees catcher Chris Stewart said. "It's also nice to bring awareness to breast cancer. We represent our moms, but at the same time, we're bringing awareness to breast cancer and trying to raise some money for that. Anytime we can do a double task out there just by wearing pink, it's pretty cool."
Vernon Wells also homered in New York's victory, and though he stuck with his usual bat for the event, Wells gave the gray Yankees uniform a splash of bright pink with a compression sleeve over his arm.
"It's a great day. This and Father's Day are two fun days for all of us," Wells said. "It's just another way of saying thank you for our parents. Pink obviously looks a little odd on a bunch of grown men, but we embrace it and I think we love to show support, not only for our moms, but for breast cancer awareness."
Yanks put Nunez on DL, bring up Gonzalez
KANSAS CITY -- The Yankees have retroactively placed infielder Eduardo Nunez on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique, with hopes that he will be able to rejoin the club when eligible on May 20.
Nunez has not been able to play since feeling discomfort in his rib cage during a May 5 game against the Athletics. New York selected the contract of infielder Alberto Gonzalez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to replace Nunez on the active roster.
"It just wasn't where we wanted it, and we felt like we couldn't go any longer," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
Gonzalez, 30, is in his second tour of duty with the Yankees. A career .241 hitter, Gonzalez played in 40 games with the club from 2007-08 after being acquired from the D-backs in the Randy Johnson trade and has also seen big league time with the Nationals, Padres, Rangers and Cubs.
The Yankees acquired Gonzalez from the Cubs last week in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations. In order to make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster, first baseman Mark Teixeira was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
"It's nice, especially because he's a true shortstop," Girardi said. "It gives you a lot of options of what you can do with the other people around him. He's also able to play second, he's able to play third, so it's really nice."
Royals honor Mo, make donation to his foundation
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals honored Mariano Rivera with a ceremony before Sunday's game against the Yankees, presenting him with a check for his charitable foundation's future efforts.
Rivera was joined on the field at Kauffman Stadium by Royals general manager Dayton Moore and Hall of Famer George Brett, who viewed a brief video on the large center-field screen paying tribute to the all-time saves leader's career.
"It's amazing," Rivera said. "The fans here have been tremendous. You talk about the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees and all the history that we have, it's a great competitive team.
"We come here to compete. We don't come here to do anything else but compete. The fans know that. You appreciate that, too. They made me feel like I was from here. It was wonderful. I appreciate it. Thank God for that."
The owner of 623 Major League saves, the most recent of which came on Sunday, Rivera is in the process of renovating a church in New Rochelle, N.Y., where his wife, Clara, serves as a pastor. Rivera said that the ceremony was "outstanding."
"To have Mr. Brett next to me, he was the man," Rivera said. "To be there, giving me that donation for the foundation, it's wonderful. I always appreciate that."
The Royals declined to disclose the amount of their contribution to Rivera's efforts, saying only that it is a "sizable monetary donation to assist in the refurbishing of the church."
Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer watched the ceremony from the first-base dugout. He singled off Rivera in the ninth before being erased on a double play as Rivera recorded his 15th save in 15 chances this season.
"There's a reason why he's the best closer in baseball and he's the best closer that's ever played baseball," Hosmer said. "If you're a kid growing up that pitches and you dream about pitching in the ninth inning, you pretty much follow in his footsteps.
"As a fan, it was an awesome experience to see the presentation at the beginning of the game and, as a baseball player, it was an honor to face him. I grew up watching him. I remember being with my parents watching them win the World Series. It was a dream come true to face him and just to be on the same field with him in his last year."
Feeling discomfort in side, Nova won't start in DH
KANSAS CITY -- Any consideration the Yankees were giving Ivan Nova to serve as a spot starter in Monday's doubleheader vanished as the right-hander felt discomfort in his left side while playing catch on Sunday at the team's Tampa, Fla., complex.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he did not receive a full report on Nova, who is on the disabled list with inflammation in his right triceps, but obviously it is a new injury that will set the hurler's return back further.
Girardi said the Yankees will give the ball to right-hander David Phelps for the first game of Monday's twin bill against the Indians at Progressive Field. Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren are the leading candidates to start Monday's second game.
"There are other guys we could use, but those are the top guys," Girardi said.
Girardi added that he did not plan to use CC Sabathia, who was limited to 51 pitches in four innings on Thursday against the Rockies because of a long rain delay.
Joba to make Minors rehab appearance Tuesday
KANSAS CITY -- Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium and said he will make a Minor League rehabilitation appearance on Tuesday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Chamberlain has been told that he will start that game at Toledo, pitching one inning. Chamberlain has been on the disabled list with a right oblique strain, retroactive to April 28.
"It's one of those things, we'll probably just see how it goes on Tuesday and go from there," Chamberlain said. "It's reacted pretty well, but it's a little bit different throwing in a game."
• Girardi said that his plan is to use Robinson Cano at second base for one of Monday's games against the Indians and at designated hitter in the other, and that Vernon Wells will only play one game in the outfield. He also said that Austin Romine will catch one of the games.
• Curtis Granderson played his third rehab game with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Sunday vs. Gwinnett, starting at DH and going 2-for-4 with an RBI single. He has gone 4-for-12 in his three Triple-A games, starting once in left field and once in right field.
"I know he feels good, but he's got to feel comfortable at the plate. That's the most important thing to me," Girardi said. "It's probably worth it to have a call with him sometime tomorrow to see where he feels he's at. That will give us a better idea."
• Sunday marks Yogi Berra's 88th birthday. The three-time MVP, 10-time World Series winner and 1972 inductee to the National Baseball Hall of Fame was born in St. Louis on May 12, 1925.
• On this date in 1996, the Yankees erased an early 8-0 deficit with nine unanswered runs to pull out a Mother's Day victory against the White Sox in Chicago. Girardi's bases-clearing double in the sixth inning gave New York the lead.