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None of that mattered much to the Yankees afterward.

“That’s horrible news,” Broxton said. “As many saves as he’s been out there and as good an athlete as he is, I just hate for bad news. All I can do is wish him the best.”

Bullpen coach Mike Harkey was near Rivera when he went down, and was the first to whistle for help. Girardi was watching batting practice from behind home plate and started running down the third base line, cutting across the outfield to get to his closer.

Harkey and Girardi helped to carry Rivera to the cart, gently setting him into the back with his knee propped up. The cart rounded the warning track before disappearing up a tunnel.

Rivera was examined by Royals associate physician Dr. Joe Noland and team trainers before he was taken to KU MedWest for an MRI exam, which took place during the game. The initial diagnosis was a twisted right knee, and for a while Girardi was optimistic.

That all changed once the MRI exam was taken.

“This is bad. There’s no question about it,” Girardi said. “This is not what you want to come to Kansas City to hear.”

The Royals became the third team in major league history to lose their first 10 home games when they dropped every one during their first homestand. They started to turn things around on a rain-shortened 4-3 road trip, and kept the momentum going against the struggling Yankees.

Mark Teixeira drove in a pair of runs for New York, which has dropped three straight and failed to score more than three runs for the fourth straight game.

Kansas City came out swinging from the start against Phelps, who had appeared six times out of the bullpen before getting the starting nod for the first time.

The Royals left a runner stranded on third in the first inning before Moustakas went deep with one out in the second.

The Yankees couldn’t come all the way back against the Kansas City bullpen, whose bend-but-don’t-break work over the final 3 2-3 innings left Duffy a winner.