The big news pregame for the Yankees was the return of Giancarlo Stanton and Gio Urshela to the roster and the lineup. Just looking at it on paper, the lineup looked so much deeper than some of the ones they have been rolling out in recent weeks.
After a sample size of one game: it appears that it’s better like this.
Even with one of the returnees reaching base just once, the Yankees’ bolstered lineup crushed the Blue Jays to the tune of six home runs, 16 hits, and 20 runs. Urshela, Luke Voit, and DJ LeMahieu all picked up at least three hits, with Voit making two of his homers. They struck early and often, leaving no doubt as they opened a crucial series against Toronto with a 20-6 win.
Oh, and all of that also overshadowed the fact that Deivi García was pretty good once again.
Despite the big run total the Yankees put up, it was actually the Blue Jays who got on the board first. In the second, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. homered off García to give the Blue Jays an early lead. It would be the only one they would take.
It didn’t take long for the Yankees to answer back, and they did it in a pretty big way. Urshela marked his return with a one-out double. It then became the Derek Fisher show, but not for the reasons he might’ve hoped. The Blue Jays’ right fielder dropped one fly ball then misplayed another, allowing Urshela to score.
Tyler Wade and DJ LeMahieu followed that with an RBI single each, bringing Luke Voit to the plate with two on. Voit then demolished a home run that Statcast dubiously lists at just going 426 feet. Not to be outdone, Aaron Hicks hit one into the second deck in right, putting the cherry on top of the inning. By the time it was over, the Yankees had a six-run lead and Toronto starter Taijuan Walker was exiting the game.
The Yankees added another five runs in the third inning. It including two run-scoring hit by pitches from Gary Sánchez and Wade, before being capped of by a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double by LeMahieu.
The Blue Jays slightly chipped into their deficit in the fourth when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a two-run shot off García. However once again, the Yankees then got back those runs and more. They picked up four more runs, most of which came on a three-run Sánchez home run.
The Gurriel home run would also be the final runs the Yankees’ starter allowed. García threw a few more innings and his day eventually ended when Michael King came in to pitch the eighth inning. The rookie finished with a line of three runs allowed on six hits and two walks, striking out six in seven innings. It wasn’t the best of his short career, but still very impressive for someone making their fourth career start.
The offense tacked on four more runs in the final couple innings to finish with 20, five short of the Yankees’ all-time best of 25 from a 1936 game.
This is a very crucial series for the Yankees, and it could not have started any more perfectly.