Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost, center, removes pitcher Ian Kennedy (31) as catcher Salvador Perez (13) listens during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees, Thursday, May 12, 2016, in, New York. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
NEW YORK (AP) Chase Headley, Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius hit early home runs and the New York Yankees beat Kansas City 7-3 Thursday night, sending the World Series champion Royals to their 12th loss in 16 games.
Kansas City dropped three of four at Yankee Stadium. Before the game, manager Ned Yost insisted he wasn't worried about his team, saying ''it's a group that doesn't panic.''
Nathan Eovaldi (3-2) worked around eight hits in five innings, and overcame getting struck on the leg by Lorenzo Cain's hard one-hopper at the outset.
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On Eovaldi's last pitch, Salvador Perez nearly launched a go-ahead, three-run homer, but right fielder Carlos Beltran caught the ball at the top of the wall. Eovaldi wiped his brow as he walked off the mound while Perez put both hands on the top of his helmet.