If this is the type of game the now nearly healthy Yankees’ lineup is capable of, they are going to be a whole lot of fun. As a team, the Yankees slugged four home runs, including three in the fourth inning. They cobbled together other kinds of hits that plated a few runs, but after that barrage of dingers, the Yankees never trailed.
Chad Green had another strong day as the opener, allowing just one hit with three strikeouts in the first two innings. If the offense was firing on all cylinders, and Green could hold a good Astros’ lineup in check, the Yankees were always likely to win. They did just that, opening the series against Houston with a 10-6 win.
There wasn’t much action in the game until that big fourth inning. Gary Sanchez kicked things off with a home run, once again tying himself with new teammate Edwin Encarnacion for the AL lead (More on that later.) After a Giancarlo Stanton and walk by the aforementioned new Yankee, Gleyber Torres added a three-run shot. A couple batters after that, with Cameron Maybin on base, DJ LeMahieu added to the dinger party, hitting the team’s third of the inning. They managed to squeeze all of that before the rain caused a half-hour delay.
When the game resumed, the home run derby did as well, only now it was the Astros’ turn. After Nestor Cortes got two quick outs to start the fifth, Jake Marisnick and Alex Bregmen hit back-to-back homers, cutting into the Yankees’ lead just a bit.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees got those runs right back, and in one of the game’s stranger developments, it wasn’t via the home run. With two on and two out, Maybin continued his hot streak, plating both runners with a double.
The sixth inning got the game back on track in the dinger department. Impressive Astros’ rookie Yordan Alvarez did the damage this time, homering off Tommy Kahnle. Luckily for the Yankees, that one was also just a solo shot.
Alas, the tie atop of the AL home run race would only last a couple innings. In the seventh, Encarcaion added yet another home run, this one of the two-run variety. His 23 dingers pace the junior circuit.
Houston picked up a couple runs off David Hale over the course of the last two innings, making the final score look a lot closer than the game actually was. Houston did manage to put the tying run on deck in the ninth, compelling manager Aaron Boone to bring in Aroldis Chapman to finish things off. The Yankees closer finally ended the shenanigans to officially get the series off to a winning start.
Oh, and after all this, now the Yankees will get Aaron Judge back. Long live the dingers.