Saturday, April 21, 2018
Sports

Chapman returns as Yankees rout Royals

NEW YORK — Carlos Beltran hit two of New York's five solo homers in the first three innings off Chris Young, and Aroldis Chapman allowed a run in his Yankees debut before closing out a 6-3 victory over the slumping Royals on Monday night.

Brian McCann, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks also went deep to help the Yankees win the opener of a four-game series against the defending World Series champions.

Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer homered for the Royals, who have lost 10 of 13.

Ivan Nova gave the Yankees a good effort in his first start of the season, pitching in place of injured left-hander CC Sabathia. Nova was pulled after 81 pitches, but New York's fortified bullpen held Kansas City at bay.

Chapman, a four-time All-Star, was eligible to pitch for the first time after serving a suspension under baseball's new domestic violence policy.

He entered with a 6-2 lead in the ninth and drew gasps from the crowd by firing his first two pitches at 100 mph, both strikes. Chapman struck out his first two batters before pinch-hitter Paulo Orlando doubled to deep center and scored on a sharp single by Alcides Escobar.

Lorenzo Cain bounced back to the mound for the final out.

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