"This lineup is pretty aggressive," Pineda said. "My slider is not the best today. I'll continue fighting, you know? I like to get the strikeouts, but for me, my biggest thing is getting deep in the game and getting outs. Today is not my best day, but it happens sometimes."
Pineda battled to keep the Royals to two runs through the first five innings before the contest got out of hand in the sixth, which started with the Yanks trailing, 2-1. Visited on the mound by manager Joe Girardi after a leadoff Alex Gordon double and a groundout, Pineda was challenged to get a strikeout with the infield in.
Pineda was unable to finish off Omar Infante, who launched a long run-scoring triple to deep center field. No. 9 hitter Paulo Orlando followed with a run-scoring single to left field, and that was it for Pineda, who ended the night charged with five runs in 5 1/3 innings.
"I didn't think he had his slider tonight," Girardi said. "You take one of their big pitches away, it's going to be more difficult. We've seen other teams try to approach him aggressively, too."
Girardi said that giving the Royals an extra out cost them more; David Carpenter induced an Alcides Escobar grounder on the only pitch he threw, but second baseman Stephen Drew tossed it wildly to Didi Gregorius for what was scored a fielder's choice, and seven more Royals came to the plate in the inning.
The loss extended the Yankees' losing streak to a season-high four games, and though they notched three extra-base hits -- an improvement over the zeros and ones that they have been popping up over the rest of the skid -- Girardi said that the pitching is what will keep his club going.
"It's not unusual," Girardi said. "You always talk about, what sustains you during the course of the season is pitching. Hitting can come and go. Right now it's not here, and we've got to find it."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.