"That was nice to see," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the home runs. "You look up and you have five solo shots and you have a 5-1 lead in the third inning, that's nice to see. It's something that we hit a lot of last year. We have not this year up to this point, but maybe this gets us going."
Right-hander Ivan Nova started for the Yankees, replacing the injured CC Sabathia. Nova lasted 4 2/3 innings and gave up one run and six hits. Kirby Yates got the win in relief, while Aroldis Chapman made his Yankees debut in the ninth.
The Royals have lost 10 of 13, and dropped below .500 for the first time since July 22, 2014.
Royals right-hander Chris Young took the loss for the Royals, serving up all five homers. That tied a franchise record for a game set originally by Sean O'Sullivan in 2011. Young now has given up 24 runs this season, 18 via the home run. Young lasted just 2 2/3 innings.
"It's high," Young said of his frustration level. "It's really high. It's a horrible feeling, feeling like you're letting your team down, not even giving us a chance, and certainly not what I expect in myself. I put in a lot of time, hard work and effort to be good at this game, and the results just aren't there."
"I still have a lot of confidence in him," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Young. "It's just like a lot of things. He's going through a rough spell with his fastball right now. Something he has to polish up now."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Power surge: The Bronx Bombers returned to their homer-hitting ways Monday night after a recent long-ball drought. Coming into Monday's contest, the Yanks had hit five home runs in their past 10 games. They matched that mark in just three innings Monday, with McCann, Beltran, Gardner and Hicks all smacking balls off Young over the right-field fence.
"Carlos has been playing every day here," Girardi said of Beltran's blasts. "I know at some point I'll probably have to pick a day here to give him a day. But I'm trying to DH him as much as possible to keep his bat in the lineup." More >
Gordon heating up?: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon has been one of the many Royals fighting a slump lately, but he may be finding a bit of a groove. Gordon walloped a home run in the second inning to dead center field, his third homer of the season and first since April 24 against Baltimore at Kauffman Stadium. Gordon also singled and walked, and now has a six-game hitting streak.
"Gordon is really starting to swing the bat now," Yost said. "I like what I'm seeing there."
'Pen pals: Although Yankees fans didn't get to see the debut of the Yankees' trio of ace relievers Monday night, they did get to see Chapman's debut as a Yankee. His reviews were mixed, as he consistently topped 100 mph and struck out the first two batters he faced but allowed a run off a Paulo Orlando double and Alcides Escobar single before setting down Lorenzo Cain to end the game.The Yankees bridged to Chapman with the bullpen train of Phil Coke, Yates and Chasen Shreve, who combined to allow just one run and two hits in 3 1/3 innings pitched.
"He throws hard," Girardi said of Chapman. "I think we all take a look at the board to see [how fast] it is. There's some guys in the back of that bullpen that throw really hard. To see that 101, that's not something you see every day." More >
Hoz stays hot: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer continued his roll. Hosmer extended his hitting streak to eight games with a line-drive homer to right in the eighth, his sixth of the year.
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Yankees rookie outfielder Ben Gamel got his first Major League hit, a ground single in the eighth inning.
Between the Yankees' five and the Royals' two, Monday's game featured seven total solo homers. The record for solo home runs between two teams in a game is eight, set on June 24, 2006, when the Mariners and the Padres each hit four, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
With his second home run of the game in the third inning, Beltran moved into a tie for 56th place on the all-time home run list with former Braves slugger Dale Murphy at 398. The man he passed at 57th? Teammate Mark Teixeira. Beltran and Teixeira are sixth and seventh on the active home run leaderboards, behind Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera.
The Royals challenged a call in the bottom of the fifth inning when Teixeira was called safe at first base as Hosmer was pulled off the bag on a throw from second baseman Omar Infante. But after a short 20-second review, the call was overturned and Teixeira was out as Hosmer's tag of Teixeira was in time.
WHAT'S NEXT Royals: Right-hander Kris Medlen (1-3, 6.85 ERA) gets the start for the Royals in the second game of the series on Tuesday at 6:05 p.m. CT. Medlen allowed a career-high nine runs (six earned) in two-plus innings in his last start, a 13-2 loss to the Nationals.
Yankees: If this season's early going is any indication, Tuesday's 7:05 p.m. ET game figures to be a good day for the Yankees, as ace Masahiro Tanaka is set to take the mound. Tanaka is coming off his best start of the year, in which he tossed eight shutout innings, and on the season as a whole, he is 1-0 with a 2.29 ERA in six starts.