Aaron Judge took a swing, winced and then labored to make it all the way to first base.
Quickly, the crowd at Yankee Stadium went silent, realizing this was a most costly hit.
Judge hurt his left oblique and was expected to go on the injured list as the already banged-up New York Yankees beat the Kansas City Royals 9-2 Saturday
The All-Star slugger homered early but injured himself in the sixth inning while hitting a single. He was taken for an MRI and further tests.
The team later said it expected to promote infielder Thairo Estrada from Triple-A to take Judge’s spot on the roster Sunday.
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 hurt himself on the swing and gingerly made his way down the line. Trainer Steve Donahue immediately came from the dugout to check on Judge, who then left.
Judge has five home runs and is batting .288 with 11 RBIs. The right fielder has played in every game this season.
It was the second straight season Judge was hurt playing against Kansas City. Last July, he sustained a broken right wrist when he was hit by a pitch from Jakob Junis and missed nearly two months.
It also was the second time Judge injured his oblique on a swing. In a 2016 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in mid-September, he suffered a Grade 2 right oblique strain and missed the rest of that season.
The Yankees hit four home runs in this win as they reached .500 for the first time since they were 5-5.
Judge connected in the first, Clint Frazier had a solo drive in the second and Mike Tauchman and DJ 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 fan interference and ruled an out.
Torres hit a flyball to left and a fan in the first row reached over and tried to make a barehanded catch as Gold Glove outfielder Alex Gordon attempted to make a leaping catch.
The Royals challenged the call and following a lengthy review to overturn it, Boone raced out of the dugout and was ejected by second base umpire Jerry Meals following a demonstrative display. After being tossed for the fifth time as a manager, Boone briefly argued with 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 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.
Fillmyer allowed six runs in four innings.