The Yankees entered Saturday with a fast-depleting 3.5 game advantage at the top of the American League East. With the Rays breathing down their necks in second-place, the importance of this series remains paramount for the Yankees.
“Saturday Sluggin’. #RepBX” – New York Yankees
Aaron Boone’s team went down 4-2 in the series opener on Friday. By no means could they afford another L in the column.
Thankfully, it was one of those days when everything clicked and fell right into place for the Yankees. With an emphatic margin of victory, they made it very clear that they still mean business.
The New York Yankees extend divisional lead after stunning win
The New York Yankees’ offense has been scrutinized vehemently in recent weeks and for valid reasons. However, their big hitters stepped up big time today to ensure that it wasn’t another one-man show by Aaron Judge.
With Josh Donaldson and Giancarlo Stanton returning to the line-up, aided by new leadoff man Judge, the Yankees started the game with seven straight hits.
The last time they began a game in that manner was all the way back in 1990, when they started with eight hits, en route to a 15-3 win against the Orioles.
Judge singled twice during a six-run first inning off Rays starter Corey Kluber. Leading the majors with 55 home runs, Judge hit three singles and raised his average to .307. He became the first Yankee to reach base, at least, three times in seven straight games since Mickey Mantle in 1957.
Donaldson returned from the paternity list and homered in the bottom of the second. Stanton went deep late in the eighth to notch his 25th home run of the season. It was his first homer since the All-Star game on July 19.
“Giancarlo Stanton just obliterated a 47 MPH pitch.” – MLB
It wasn’t just the offense who did their job. Starter Jameson Taillon worked 7 ⅓ solid innings, conceding only three runs and six hits. Today’s solid shift earned him his 50th career win.
The win extends the Yankees’ divisional advantage over the Rays back to 4.5 games ahead of the final regular-season game between the two AL East rivals.
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