Minnesota Twins starter Kyle Gibson had bent plenty of times through five innings, but refused to break. The Yankees stranded six runners through the first five frames but couldn’t push a run across, despite forcing Gibson to tally over 100 pitches into the sixth. With two outs and the bases empty in the frame, Gary Sanchez finally broke the right-hander. He also broke Statcast in the process.
Sanchez’s mammoth 460-foot home run into the third deck at Target Field broke a scoreless tie and ignited the Yankees’ offense to a 7-2 win. The Yankees are now a ridiculous 94-33 against the Twins since 2002, and have won all five games against them in 2018. The Kraken finished with three hits, including an opposite field double off the right field wall.
Brewing with new life after the Sanchez homer, Andrew McCutchen and Aaron Hicks sparked a monster rally by drawing back-to-back walks to lead off the seventh. Miguel Andujar then graced Yankees fans with his obligatory extra-base hit, a booming double off the right-center field wall to drive in two.
The struggling Giancarlo Stanton followed with a double of his own, a 117 mph missile to dead center to score Andujar; the Yankees finally broke out with runners on. The two hits came after the Bombers went hitless in their first eight at-bats with runners in scoring position.
The Yankees weren’t close to being done, though. Didi Gregorius recorded the Yankees’ third-straight two-bagger with a double down the right field line to score Stanton. Then Sanchez added a single and Greg Bird drew a walk to load the bases. Gleyber Torres brought another run home with a single that just got under the glove of a diving Rex Grossman.
Torres’ base hit marked the eighth-straight Yankee to reach base before an out in the seventh was ever recorded. When the smoke cleared, the Yanks had their second-biggest rally of the season. They came just one run shy of the seven spot they hung on the Blue Jays in the sixth inning of a 9-1 win back in April.
On the other side, J.A. Happ was superb again, throwing six shutout innings without walking a batter. Luis Cessa allowed a pair of runs in garbage time relief.
Happ’s only sign of trouble came in the second when Mitch Garver laced a leadoff single down the left field line. That was followed by some bad baseball luck courtesy of Jake Cave, who sent a swinging bunt up towards the mound, causing Happ to hurry the throw and pull Greg Bird off the bag at first. Happ breathed a sigh of relief after Gregorio Petit ripped a two out liner to left center, but Brett Gardner was able to chase it down and make a sliding catch, likely saving two runs.
Luke Voit, arguably the Yankees’ hottest hitter, took the night off to nurse a tight back, with Bird taking his place against the righty Gibson. Given the Yankees’ offensive output, Voit’s night of rest was well-timed by Aaron Boone.