Left-hander Will Smith was a pedestrian 1-3 with a 4.01 ERA in nine starts for Class AAA Omaha this season before the Royals purchased his contract Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Royals thrust him into the rotation on baseball's biggest stage -- Yankee Stadium -- against a star-studded, veteran lineup.
Smith, 22, was not quite ready for his Broadway debut, giving up three runs in the first inning on homers by Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez homered again in the third inning.
Smith's final line was 16 batters faced, five runs and six hits, including the three homers. He walked one and struck out one in 3 13 innings in an 8-3 loss to the Yankees.
To make matters worse, the Yankees started veteran Andy Pettitte, who came out of retirement this season. Pettitte earned his 242nd major league win, while Smith is looking for his first. Pettitte improved to 14-3 against the Royals. He has not lost to them since Aug. 18, 1999, when Smith was 10 years old.