Royals 2, Yankees 7: Injury Concerns Cloud Series-Opening Win

THE BRONX – On a day where the Yankees consummated a trade for a high-profile starting pitcher and scored seven runs to win a game, the focus sits on injury concerns with Aaron Judge and Sonny Gray.

Judge started as the designated hitter today, but was drilled in the vicinity of his right wrist on a 2-2 pitch from Jakob Junis. He stayed in the game to run the bases, and also recorded an infield single in his second at-bat. However, Miguel Andújar came in to pinch-hit for him once the No. 2 spot in the order came up again.

In the fifth inning, Alex Gordon hit a hard ground ball up the middle that Gray slowed down with his pitching hand. The trainers came out to check on him, and after a few warm-up pitches, he stayed in the game to finish the fifth inning. His velocity was down a few ticks at this point, but he managed to get out of the inning with no runs allowed. Undoubtedly, Gray would have continued to pitch since he was removed with only 75 pitches but the Yankees figured it was not worth the risk since they were up by seven runs at that point.

The Yankees scored early and often, pushing across two in the first inning on a Giancarlo Stanton sacrifice fly and later a fielding error hit into by Gleyber Torres. The Yankees got four in the fourth, thanks to an RBI double by Austin Romine and a three-run (all unearned) home run by Didi Gregorius. Didi only got to hit because Andújar reached on a brutal error by Royals’ shortstop Adalberto Mondesí. Greg Bird hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning for the Yankees’ seventh and final run.

The Royals scored their two runs once Gray was lifted for Adam Warren. Mike Moustakas hit his first pitch for a ground-rule double, and then two pitches later, Salvador Pérez took him deep to center for a two-run shot.

Things got hairy for Chasen Shreve in the ninth. He came on in relief of Zach Britton, who threw a 1-2-3 inning in his Yankees debut. Jorge Bonifacio singled, and then was replaced by Alex Gordon on a forceout. After striking out Brian Goodwin, Mondesí recorded a single that got Aroldis Chapman loose in the Yankees bullpen. Whit Merrifield followed with a single to center, but Gordon barreled through Mike Jirschele‘s stop sign at third base. Aaron Hicks fired to Romine at the plate and Gordon was out to end the game.

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