Bo Jackson came thudding back to earth Saturday in his first major league appearance at Yankee Stadium.
There was nothing halfway about his flop, either, as the Kansas City Royals lost to the New York Yankees, 7-6. In his first visit to the House That Babe Ruth built, Jackson tied a major league record by striking out five times in five trips to the plate.
"I got one thing to say, boys," the Heisman Trophy winner said. "I stunk. That's baseball. I won't be up all the time and I won't be down all the time."
In three games against the Yankees last weekend at Kansas City, Jackson was 8 for 12. He went into Saturday's game hitting .452 with a league-leading 13 runs batted in.
Jackson left nine runners stranded on his strikeout spree.
"He's a good hitter," Yankee Manager Lou Piniella said. "He worked us over in K. C., but I think our pitchers were a little more aware of him today."
After Jackson struck out for the fifth time, this one against Dave Righetti, Steve Balboni hit a three-run home run to tie the score. But, in the ninth, Bud Black walked Mike Pagliarulo on a 3-and-2 pitch with the bases loaded to force in the winning run.
Don Mattingly, emerging from a deep slump, hit his first home run of the season for the Yankees in the seventh.