EditorsNote: update 2: adds Judge’s diagnosis in third graf
Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, but the New York Yankees lost Aaron Judge to a wrist injury in a 7-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Gregorius helped the Yankees win on a night when they lost Judge in the fourth inning after he was hit by a pitch in the first inning.
Judge is expected to miss at least three weeks, as the team announced he sustained a chip fracture of his ulnar styloid bone. No surgery was recommended.
Judge’s injury spoiled a day when the Yankees acquired J.A. Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays for Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney and activated Zach Britton after acquiring him from the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday.
Britton made his debut for the Yankees and threw 10 pitches in a perfect eighth inning.
Gregorius homered one batter after Miguel Andujar batted for Judge and reached on a throwing error by shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, who bounced a throw to first base.
On the next pitch, Gregorius hammered a changeup from Jakob Junis (5-11) into the right field seats for his 18th homer and a 6-0 lead.
It marked the first time in four games the Yankees homered. New York avoided going homerless in four straight games for the first time since June 9-12, 2016.
Austin Romine started the scoring in a four-run fourth with a long double to center field, and Greg Bird added a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
New York scored its first two runs in the first on a sacrifice fly by Giancarlo Stanton and on a fielding error by Mondesi, who misplayed a grounder by rookie Gleyber Torres.
New York’s Sonny Gray (8-7) allowed three hits in five scoreless innings while also taking a line drive by Alex Gordon off his hand. He struck out five, walked two and won his third straight start.
Adam Warren allowed a two-run homer to Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez in the sixth.
Chasen Shreve allowed three hits in the ninth. The game ended when center fielder Aaron Hicks threw out Gordon at the plate on a single by Whit Merrifield.
Junis dropped his eighth straight decision by allowing seven runs (three earned) and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings. He also allowed his major-league-leading 25th homer.
With the game already in hand, there was a strange sight as several thousand fans turned on their cell phone lights and held up their devices as New York’s Neil Walker batted in the eighth.
—Field Level Media