KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thursday night will be remembered more for what happened before the game than during it.
Yes, it was a thrilling, down-to-the-final-out 4-3 victory for the Kansas City Royals over the New York Yankees. It was the Royals' first home victory of the season after going 0-10 in April at Kauffman Stadium.
But about an hour before the game, Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was carted off the field with a right knee injury while going after a fly ball in batting practice. A MRI detected a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament. It might be a career-ending injury for Rivera, a 42-year-old right-hander and the all-time saves leader.
"It's not what you want, but it's not season over," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said, speaking about his team. "This is bad. There's no question about it. This is not what you want to come to Kansas City to hear."
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said, "It's obviously a huge loss. No one is going to feel for sorry for us. We've got five months to play. It's hard to talk about it tonight. Guys have got to pick it up. Mo is Mo."
Mike Moustakas homered and drove in three runs, matching his career high. Moustakas went deep in the second inning and had a two-run single with two outs in the fifth.
"Moose is just on fire with the bat right now, three RBI, the home run to give us the first lead, and the big two-run single there was a big boost for us," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
The Yankees' offense, which has been limited to six combined runs in the past four games, continued to struggle against Royals starter Danny Duffy and four relief pitchers.
Duffy, who was pitching for the first time in 11 days after missing a start with a sore elbow, gave up two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two. Duffy was 1-8 with a 5.55 ERA in 11 career home starts before beating New York.
The Yankees trimmed the Royals' lead to one run in the seventh when Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly scored Derek Jeter.
Jeter, who had four hits to raise his average to .404, led off the ninth with a single, and Jonathan Broxton walked Curtis Granderson. Teixeira, however, grounded into a double play, and Rodriguez grounded out to end the game. Broxton logged his five save in six opportunities.
"Jeter is just on fire," Yost said. "He's hitting everything we throw up there. He's hitting everything everybody is throwing up there."
The double play Teixeira grounded into was anything but routine, as second baseman Chris Getz made a diving stop to snatch the hard-hit ball up the ball. Moustakas also barehanded Rodriguez's grounder to end the game, with his throw to first beating the batter by a half-step.
"It was tremendous defense," Yost said. "The double play was a great play in the ninth, Getz diving for the ball and flipping it to (Alcides) Escobar, who made a great play and (Eric) Hosmer making a great pick."
Broxton knew the play Moustakas made on Rodriguez to end the game was going to be close.
"I saw Moose come flying in with one hand and just barehanded it," Broxton said. "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. The defense was outstanding again for me today."
And just like that, the Royals celebrated a home victory.
"It's a load off," 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 (home) game. It was about time."
However, the Royals were also saddened by Rivera's injury.
"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."
Moustakas gave the Royals a 1-0 lead with his fourth home run in the second inning. The Yankees tied it in the third when Jeter stroked his 500th career double and scored on Teixeira's two-out double.
The Royals regained the lead in the bottom of the third when Jarrod Dyson, Billy Butler and Hosmer singled off David Phelps. Hosmer, who was in a 1-for-24 skid, singled home Dyson.
Phelps, making his first big-league start, left after 85 pitches and four innings, allowing two runs on six hits. He struck out five and didn't walk a batter.
Moustakas stroked a two-run, two-out fifth-inning single off D.J. Mitchell as the Royals hiked their lead to 4-1.
The Yankees got a run back in the sixth and chased Duffy. Eduardo Nunez's sacrifice fly scored Robinson Cano, who had singled with one out and moved to third on Andruw Jones' single.
NOTES: The Yankees put Eric Chavez on the seven-day concussion disabled list. Chavez suffered whiplash and had concussion symptoms after diving for J.J. Hardy's double in the fifth inning Wednesday in the loss to the Orioles. "Those (concussions), you can't predict how long he'll be out. No one really knows," Yankees Girardi said. "When I talked to him this morning, he said he felt like he had been in an accident. He was sore a little bit. He was much clearer than when I saw him last night. He was a little foggy last night. Hopefully, this is quick and we'll get him back after seven days." ... The Yankees purchased the contract of Jayson Nix from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he was hitting .233 in eight games, to replace Chavez on the roster. Nix started in left field, his 12th outfield start in 233 games played in the field in the majors. He is a career .207 hitter in parts of four big-league seasons. ... Teixeira batted in the third slot for only the second time this season. ... Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher missed his fourth straight game with a strained left hamstring. ... The Royals placed Yuniesky Betancourt on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle. They promoted utility player Irving Falu, who had played 949 minor league games over 10 years, from Triple-A Omaha, where he was hitting .306.
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