The brighter side of Thursday's win for the Yankees included the team debut of recently-acquired reliever Zach Britton. The former Baltimore Orioles closer came in for the eighth inning and threw a perfect 1-2-3 frame, which included a strikeout.
Sonny Gray got the start for New York and went five innings and struck out five to earn his eighth victory. He was pulled after five, forcing manager Aaron Boone to use four relievers to close out the last-place Royals at home. Didi Gregorius connected with a big three-run home run in the win, while Austin Romine, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, and Gleyber Torres all helped New York get out to a 7-0 lead.
Salvador Perez's two-run home run off of Adam Warren ended the Yankees' shutout efforts in the sixth inning. Jakob Junis suffered his 11th loss and did not get out of the fifth inning with just three runs on nine hits against him. The lowly Royals still have three more games left at Yankee Stadium, while New York gained a game on the Boston Red Sox, who fell to the Minnesota Twins at home. New York now trails Boston by 4.5 games for the top spot in the AL East. Those two teams will go at it again next weekend.