The New York Yankees came into tonight’s game tied with the 2002 Texas Rangers for 27 straight games with a home run. It wouldn’t take the Bombers long to cement themselves as the new record holders. Chad Green started the game for New York as the “opener”. It was the first time of his career in which he started a game after pitching the day before, but that did not seem to faze him. The opener strategy proved to be a success yet again as the Yankees downed the Jays 4-3.
Clayton Richard was on the bump for the Blue Jays. He has been in a bit of a funk of late. He entered the game having surrendered 16 earned runs in his previous three starts combined, and DJ LeMahieu wasted no time greeting him. He rifled a leadoff home run that tucked inside the left field foul pole to give the Yanks an early 1-0 lead. With that bomb, the Yankees have homered in 28 consecutive games, surpassing the all-time mark:
HISTORY! DJ LeMahieu's solo shot gives the Yankees a home run in an MLB-record 28 consecutive games. #YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/xpbAw9vMPg— YES Network (@YESNetwork) June 25, 2019
The Bombers weren’t done there. Aaron Judge came up as the very next batter and launched a 405-foot dinger into right-center to go back-to-back with LeMahieu. It was his first long ball since returning from the injured list, giving the Yankees an immediate 2-0 lead to start the game. The first nine batters Richard faced had four hits and three homers.
"Back to back jacks! Oh, its judgment day!" pic.twitter.com/BlJRcQ9lUy— John Sterling Calls (@JSterlingCalls) June 25, 2019
However, the first frame wasn’t all positive for the Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton injured his knee while awkwardly sliding into third. It is officially labeled as a “right knee contusion”, and he will have an MRI tonight.
Gleyber Torres hit his 19th homer of the year in the bottom of the second that landed in the right field seats. The Yankee lead was stretched to three, as they kept up their string of solo home runs.
Nestor Cortes Jr. would take the reins from Green in the second inning. He threw 4.1 innings, giving up two runs and striking out five. The Green-Cortes experiment has worked extremely well for the Yankees this year. In their last 28.1 innings pitched, the combo has a .198/.214/.296 slash line allowed with just two walks and 28 punch-outs. With the win today, the Yanks have improved to 7-0 when using the opener.
Cortes only ran into trouble in the sixth inning, at the end of his outing. He allowed a sacrifice fly to Eric Sogard and an RBI single by Vlad Guerrero Jr. as the Jays sliced the Yankees’ advantage to 3-2. Tommy Kahnle relieved Cortes there, striking out a pair to stand two runners and maintain the lead.
Edwin Encarnacion stepped up to the plate bottom half of the eighth with the Yankees still up one. Him and his parrot would go for a ride around the bases as he short-porched one down the right field line. The Yankees would enter the ninth leading 4-2.
Aroldis Chapman came into the game looking for his 23rd save of the season. After a single and a questionable catchers interference call made by the home plate umpire, the Jays quickly had runners on first and second with no one out. Chapman buckled down and got the next two batters to strike out swinging, but the game wasn’t over just yet. Randal Grichuck laced a single into center that scored Lourdes Gurriel Jr. from second to cut the deficit to one. After enduring a long battle with Freddy Galvis, Chapman induced a crucial groundout to second to end the game and secure the series win for New York.
The Bombers lived up to their nickname as all of their runs came via four solo shots. With two more hits today, DJ LeMahieu now has 32 multi-hit games and is batting a .331, which leads the American League. The Yankees will go for the sweep of Toronto tomorrow afternoon, as James Paxton takes on Trent Thornton.