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Yankees 10, Blue Jays 7: Best fourth inning ever

The Yankees hit five home runs in one inning to complete the sweep against Toronto

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees’ offense is in decline.

After putting up 20 runs on Tuesday and 13 last night, the team managed just 10 measly runs in the series finale, as the Yankees won their eighth in a row, sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays by a score of 10-7.

Julian Merryweather had opened games twice this year already and hadn’t given up a run in either outing. The Yankees did a good job getting to him early, putting traffic on the bases in the first inning. With three men on and nobody out, Giancarlo Stanton made his first big contribution to the team since returning, hitting a single to bring home the first run of the game. Gleyber Torres grounded into a double play, which isn’t ideal, but still brought home another run and the Yankees were up 2-0.

The Blue Jays came back quickly, tying the game in the third. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. took Masahiro Tanaka out of the park, and after another two Jays reached, Bo Bichette hit a run scoring single. Fortunately, he was thrown out trying to take second on the play, a key second out that was underlined as even more important when Tanaka got a popout to retire the side.

And now, I suppose, I will try to describe the fourth inning. I said in the game thread that if the Yankees were tied or leading at the time Merryweather left the game, they should have a good chance of feasting on Chase Anderson. Well……….

Gio Urshela lined out to start the inning, then Clint Frazier walked. Gary Sánchez absolutely obliterated a pitch for a run scoring double, and right away we had something pretty remarkable. That 117.5 mph double was the hardest-hit ball by a qualified major-leaguer this year. Sanchez’s raw power is the reason people put so much faith in him, there’s really only two or three other guys in baseball that can do that.

So it’s 3-2, and up steps Brett Gardner:

That was the first pitch of the at-bat remember that. The very next pitch Chase Anderson threw also ended up in the seats, courtesy of DJ LeMahieu. The very next pitch after that? Luke Voit launched a home run of his own. Three home runs on three straight pitches had turned a tense game into a comedy. After Aaron Hicks struck out, the inning turned to farce.

Giancarlo Stanton and Gleyber Torres echoed their teammates with back-to-back home runs, one to right and one to left. It was 9-2, and five home runs in a single inning tied the major league record.

Visually, that looks like this:

Unbelievable.

Gary Sánchez continued his resurgence, following the double with a long home run to left field to put the Yankees in double digits again.

Masahiro Tanaka might get lost in the offensive excitement, but he did just fine for himself, pitching seven innings, allowing three runs, with a 5:0 K:BB ratio. The only hitter to give him any real trouble was Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who took him deep twice and added a double for good measure. Gurriel had his first-ever four-hit game, so he was seeing the ball well even if the rest of the club wasn’t.

Adam Ottavino and Jonathan Holder took over with Ottavino allowing just a hit, and Holder running in to some trouble in the top of the ninth. He loaded the bases, allowed a run on an infield single, then walked in a second run. His clusterdong of an inning necessitated the use of Aroldis Chapman, who gave up a single but no other damage, striking out the next two hitters. The ninth was closer than it should have been, but the game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates.

The Yankees absolutely owned the Blue Jays this week. They scored 43 runs, allowed 16, and the longest game of the series was tonight, taking just under three and a half hours. The team will square off with Boston next, just three games back of Tampa Bay for first in the AL East.