The Yankees scored their seventh run in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Jacoby Ellsbury, then added another in the eighth on an RBI fielder's choice groundball hit by Starlin Castro.
"It feels good. This team is playing well and you want to be a part of it and not the reason we are losing a game once a week, " Sabathia said. "I don't think I've seen a ball hit harder than that in this park", Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters. That forced Sabathia from the game as Joe Girardi brought in Tyler Clippard. "I wanted to finish off my inning, but it worked out".
"I love pitching here", Sabathia said.
The offense banged out 13 hits, getting home runs from Sanchez and Carter, who had three hits.
But it looks like the Yankees may be on the rise again with young stars like Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.
Sabathia's was an especially welcome performance after Luis Severino lasted only 2 1⁄3 innings in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader against Houston, an 11-6 victory, and Masahiro Tanaka's 1 2⁄3-inning train wreck in the second game, a 10-7 loss in which the ace allowed eight runs. Hammel didn't record a single strikeout, walked one and gave up nine hits. Hammel threw 30 pitches in the first two innings and the Yankees didn't swing and miss once.More news: North Korea Missile Program Advancing Faster Than Expected, South's Defense Minister Says
In came Clippard, who got out of the jam.
The four batters they sent to the plate in the first inning all hit rockets in the air, though three were caught for outs. So, too, did the re-emergence of Sabathia's cut fastball that had been missing. "When you have control like that, you're going to be successful".
The Royals avoided a shutout in the ninth, pushing one run across against Jonathan Holder to make it 7-1.
Sanchez and Carter staked Sabathia to an early 5-0 lead with a pair of homers.
New York Yankees' Gary Sanchez (24) celebrates with Matt Holliday after hitting a three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo.
Jason Hammel (1-5) struggled through another six innings, allowing the two home runs, seven other hits and five total runs. Carter made a couple of nifty plays at first base, and left fielder Brett Gardner threw out Jorge Soler in the fifth inning as he tried to stretch a single. "I got lucky in a way with these guys picking me up big-time".