DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton had big nights as the Yankees hit six homer runs to take a 305-303 lead in the home run race against the Minnesota Twins...oh, and to power past the Texas Rangers, 14-7.
The Yankees’ team MVP had another multi-hit night, as LeMahieu went 3-for-5 with a three-RBI total, bringing his season total to 102. Batting right behind him, in what will be reassuring to the vast majority of Yankees fans, Stanton had himself a huge game. Reaching base in all five of his plate appearances, he had three hits and three RBI, including a monster home run in the first inning:
All my flexes live in Texas. pic.twitter.com/PMquAKgoPn— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 28, 2019
The cringe-worthy tweet by the Yankees’ account notwithstanding, Stanton’s home run was historic, as it was the team’s 300th on the season.
Although the Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, they did not hold it for long, as Cameron Maybin did his best “Giancarlo Stanton” impression and hit a home run to almost exactly the same spot, albeit not as far, to tie the game. Two innings later, Brett Gardner added a home run of his own to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead and extend his home run lead to 28-26 over Aaron Judge.
The Yankees would continue to pour it on throughout the rest of the game. That same inning, following a single, two fielder’s choices, and a LeMahieu double, Stanton hit a two-run single. Two innings later, Gio Urshela opened the sixth with a home run of his own, and following a Cameron Maybin walk, Mike Ford joined the home run brigade. The seventh and ninth would see three further runs apiece, courtesy of a DJ LeMahieu three-run double in the seventh, and an Austin Romine solo homer and a Mike Ford two-run double in the ninth.
It was not all good news for the Yankees, however, as starter James Paxton was removed due to tightness in his left glute after only one inning; the Yankees stated that it was precautionary, so it looks like he may have avoided serious injury, but it would not be surprising for Yankees fans to be jaded about this given the way 2019 has gone.
Fortunately for the Yankees tonight, the bullpen B-listers picked up the slack. Ben Heller, Stephen Tarpley, Jonathan Loaisiga, Cory Gearrin, and Tyler Lyons combined for five scoreless innings, striking out seven, walking one, and giving up two hits. In his major league debut, prospect Michael King gave up one unearned run in two innings of work, striking out one batter and committing one error.
Chance Adams made things slightly more interesting than they should have been, though. Entering the game with a 14-3 lead, Adams struck out Rougned Odor, and then things went downhill quickly. Rookie Scott Heineman hit his second home run of his career (his first, incidentally, was off Jonathan Loaisiga on September 3). Delino DeShields doubled on a misplayed dive by center fielder Tyler Wade (pinch-ran for Stanton in the 8th), before scoring on a Jose Trevino double. Shin-Soo Choo then drove Adams out of the game with his 24th homer of the season, bringing the score to 14-7.
Nestor Cortes, Jr. was quick and efficient to bring the game to a conclusion, causing Elvis Andrus to pop out on one pitch, and inducing a Willie Calhoun groundout to second after only two more.
Stephen Tarpley recorded his first win of the season while Rangers starter Joe Palumbo got tagged with the loss as the Yankees improved to 103-57. More important than the win, however, were the strong performances by Stanton and Urshela, both of whom will be needed come October. Meanwhile, with another multi-hit and multi-RBI night, Mike Ford has been making a strong case for inclusion on the postseason roster.
That’s a discussion for another day, however. The Yankees are back in action tomorrow night against the Rangers, as Luis Severino matches up against the often-scheduled-but-always-a-late-scratch TBD.