KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Jonathan Broxton was thinking about fellow closer Mariano Rivera, not the Royals' two defensive gems that helped him earn a save Thursday night.
The Yankees' star closer tore a knee ligament shagging fly balls during batting practice before Broxton closed out Kansas City's 4-3 victory over New York.
``That's horrible news,' Broxton said. ``As many saves as he's been out there and as good an athlete as he is, I just hate for that bad news. All I can do is wish him the best.'
Third baseman Mike Moustakas matched a career high with three RBIs and made a stellar play in the night to end the Royals' first victory at home this season.
``The defense was outstanding again for me today,' Broxton said. ``That's part of our game and letting the defense work. Getzy has made two great plays in back-to-back days that really helped out. And Moose finished it off tonight.'
Danny Duffy (2-2) pitched well into the sixth inning before turning the game over to the Royals bullpen, which held the Yankees in check until Broxton, who's been sidelined by several injuries in his career, came out for the ninth.
Broxton allowed a leadoff single to Derek Jeter, his fourth hit of the night, and walked Curtis Granderson. Mark Teixeira followed with a liner to Chris Getz at second base, who snagged it in the dirt and fired to Alcides Escobar to start a double play.
Jeter advanced to third for Alex Rodriguez, who hit a chopper to Moustakas at third base. He made a barehanded grab and threw out A-Rod by a step to preserve the victory.
``Once he swung, I thought this is going to be close,' Broxton said. ``I saw Moose come flying in with one hand and just barehanded it. I was like it's going to be bang-bang, I hope he comes up with it clean. He did it. It was a great play on his part.'
Broxton wound up earning his fifth save and Kansas City snapped a 10-game home losing streak.
``It's a load off,' Royals manager Ned Yost said. ``We don't have to talk about not winning games at home anymore. That's a good thing. Hearing the fans in the ninth inning was like music to my ears because I haven't heard that all year long and this was the 11th game. It was about time.
``It was tremendous defense. The double play was a great play in the ninth, Getz diving for the ball and flipping it to Escobar, who made a great play and (Eric) Hosmer making a great pick.'
The play that cast a pall over the Yankees, though, happened before the game.
The 42-year-old Rivera's leg caught on the field where the grass meets dirt, causing his knee to buckle. He fell into the outfield wall and down to the ground, where Rivera grimaced in pain as teammates and training staff ran out to see him.
``This is bad,' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ``There's no question about it.'
Rivera was carted from the field and taken for an MRI exam. Royals physician Dr. Vincent Key diagnosed a torn ACL after examining the scans of the knee.
``I thought it wasn't that bad, but it's torn,' Rivera said after the Yankees lost 4-3, pausing several times in the Yankees clubhouse to compose himself. ``Have to fix it.'
Rivera has said that he will decide after the season whether to retire, and while Girardi said he hoped that baseball's career saves leader with 608 would make a comeback, Rivera was noncommittal.
Moustakas homered in the second off David Phelps (0-1), who was making his first major league start, and added a two-run single in the fifth to create some much-needed breathing room.
``Moose is just on fire with the bat right now, three RBIs, the home run to give us the first lead and the big two-run single there was a big boost for us,' Yost said.
The Royals became the third team in major league history to lose their first 10 home games when they dropped every one during their first homestand. They started to turn things around on a rain-shortened 4-3 road trip, and kept the momentum going against the struggling Yankees.
Teixeira drove in a pair of runs for New York, which has dropped three straight and failed to score more than three runs for the fourth straight game.
``Jeter is just on fire,' Yost said. ``He's hitting everything we throw up there. He's hitting everything everybody is throwing up there. He's hitting over .400.'
Kansas City came out swinging from the start against Phelps, who had appeared six times out of the bullpen before getting the starting nod for the first time.
The Royals left a runner stranded on third in the first inning before Moustakas went deep with one out in the second. Kansas City added another run in the third when Jarrod Dyson led off with a single, and Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer added back-to-back singles.
The Yankees couldn't come all the way back against the Kansas City bullpen, whose bend-but-don't-break work over the final 3 2-3 innings left Duffy a winner.
The young left-hander was forced to skip his scheduled start last Friday in Minnesota because of tightness in his elbow. He was not on a strict pitch count, but Yost said that he'd be watching him closely, and Duffy responded by striking out six and issuing only two walks.
NOTES: The Royals placed Yuniesky Betancourt (right ankle sprain) on the DL purchased the contract of INF Irving Falu from Triple-A Omaha. ... LHP CC Sabathia will pitch Friday night for New York. LHP Bruce Chen goes for Kansas City.
The Associated Press News Service
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