Aaron Judge hurt his left oblique while taking a swing and was removed from Saturday afternoon’s game as the Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals, 9-2, at Yankee Stadium.
Judge hit a home run earlier, but hurt himself in the sixth inning while hitting a single. He was taken to a hospital for a magnetic resonance imaging examination and further tests.
Asked if Judge could possibly avoid going on the injured list, Manager Aaron Boone said, “Probably not.”
The Yankees began the game with 12 players on the injured list, including Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks. Of those missing, only Sanchez appears close to returning.
Judge winced after taking a swing in the sixth and gingerly made his way to first base. The team’s trainer, Steve Donahue, immediately came from the dugout to check on Judge, who then left.
Judge, a right fielder, has five home runs and is batting .288 with 11 runs batted in. He has played in every game this season.
“It’s Aaron Judge. He’s one of the great players in the game,” Boone said.
It was the second straight season Judge was hurt playing against Kansas City. Last July, he broke his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch from Jakob Junis and missed nearly two months.
The Yankees hit four home runs in the win.
Judge connected in the first, Clint Frazier had a solo drive in the second and Mike Tauchman and D.J. LeMahieu homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth.
Boone was ejected for the first time this season in the third after an apparent three-run homer by Gleyber Torres was overturned by video review and ruled an out on fan interference.
Torres hit a fly to left field and a fan in the first row reached over and tried to make a barehanded catch as the Gold Glove outfielder Alex Gordon attempted to make a leaping catch.
The Royals challenged the call, and after a lengthy review to overturn it, Boone raced out of the dugout and was ejected by the second-base umpire, Jerry Meals, after a demonstrative display. After being tossed for the fifth time as a manager, Boone briefly argued with the first-base umpire, Ron Kulpa, before heading off the field.
Judge and Frazier hit their fifth homers of the season in the opening two innings off Heath Fillmyer (0-1) as the Yankees took a 2-0 lead.
Tauchman made it 5-0 with a three-run homer that easily cleared the right-center-field fence. After Tauchman homered for the second straight game, LeMahieu hit his first homer of the season.
Masahiro Tanaka (2-1) pitched seven innings of one-run ball. He took a shutout into the sixth before allowing a homer to Whit Merrifield to start the inning.
Chris Owings homered in the ninth for Kansas City.