Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Yankees' Two Touchdowns Against Twins Sign Of Things To Come

Miguel Andujar rounding the bases on his home run Monday night. @Yankees.

Nothing gets the Yankees' offense going like a visit from the Minnesota Twins.

That was especially true on Monday night at Yankee Stadium, as the Yankees rolled to a 14-1 victory over a team they always seem to have their way with.

The Yankees have now won three straight, and five of seven overall, on this homestand.

The Yankees are now 12-9 on the season, and they host the Twins for three more, followed by a three-game set next weekend at the slumping Angels, who lost five of six at home before winning in Houston last night.

This upcoming week can make fans forget about the Yankees' slow start as their record gradually gets back to what's expected from a talented group like this.

As the temperatures warm up, they can also expect more nights like Monday, when the Bronx Bombers feasted on subpar pitching with four home runs.

It was also a special night for the Yankees top prospect, second baseman Gleyber Torres, who got his first career hit, a single to center field off Tyler Kinney leading off the bottom of the eighth inning. This was Torres' second game with the club, as he was called up on Sunday morning.

Giancarlo Stanton had the big night at The Stadium that he was waiting for, as he went 4-for-4, with a home run, two RBI, three runs scored, and a walk. This was his first multi-hit game since April 11 at Boston.

This was the seventh time in Stanton's career that he reached base safely at least five times, and the first since July 9, 2017 at San Francisco when he was a Marlin and he reached base six times.
Stanton is starting to heat up, as this was his second home run in the last four games, including one on Friday against Toronto, and three of his five home runs this season have come at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees' offense got to Twins starter Jake Odorizzi in the first inning, when Stanton walked and scored on Gary Sanchez's two-run double that made it 2-0 Yankees. Aaron Hicks singled to score Sanchez and make it 3-0.

In the second, Miguel Andujar launched his third home run of the season to make it 4-0. All of this home runs this season have come on this homestand, and more on his big night later.

Stanton hit an absolute bomb to left field, 435 feet into the bleachers to make it 5-1 in the fifth, and then in the seventh, he got an RBI single and scored on a Tyler Austin two-run double that made it 8-1 Yankees.

The Bronx Bombers poured it on in the bottom of the eighth inning when they scored six runs, with Didi Gregorius launching a grand slam followed by a two-run dinger from Austin that made it 14-1.
Andujar, the Yankees' 23-year old third baseman, went 2-for-5 on the night, with the home run in the second and a double to extend his extra-base hit streak to seven games.

He is the second-youngest Yankee in franchise history with as long a streak, matching Joe DiMaggio's seven-game streak from June 4-11, 1937, which ended when he was 22 years and 198 days old, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Andujar's 14 extra-base hits (10 doubles, 1 triple, 3 HR) are second-most by a Yankee through 19 career games, second-most to Dimaggio, who had 16 extra-base hits to that point.

Andujar is one of four players his age (23 years-52 days) or younger to have as long a streak in the last 20 years, joining a pair of Dodgers, Cody Bellinger (2017) and Corey Seager (2016), and Cardinal Albert Pujols, who did it in 2001.

During the streak, Andujar has a slash line of .517/.533/1.172 (15-29) with three home runs, eight RBI, eight runs scored, eight doubles, a triple.

Gregorius, with that eighth-inning grand slam, has hit safely in all seven games on the homestand, batting .346 (9-for-26) with four home runs, 11 RBI, a double, seven runs scored, and four walks.

In 13 games at Yankee Stadium this month, Didi is hitting .386 (17-44) with seven homers, 20 RBI, 14 runs scored, four doubles, 11 walks, a .509 on-base percentage, and a 1.463 OPS.

His seven homers this month matches a single-month career high from last July, and his 24 RBI this month marks his second-highest total in a calendar month (25 last September).

Gregorius' 24 RBI in March/April are the second-most by a Yankee since Alex Rodriguez had 34 RBI in 2007, a season in which he won the American League Most Valuable Player award.

Could some hardware be in store for Didi if he keeps this up?

Austin is starting to heat up, as he went 2-5 with the two-run double and two-run homer giving him a career-high four RBI. He is batting .371/.450/.657 (13-35) with two home runs, 10 RBI, six runs scored, four doubles, and four walks in his last nine games dating to April 7.

Aaron Judge, who went 1-3 with a double, two runs scored, and two free passes, has now reached base safely in 27 straight home games, starting September 3 of last season. That is the longest streak of his career and third-longest at the current Yankee Stadium, behind Mark Teixeira (33 games, June 3-August 6, 2010) and Derek Jeter (28 games, August 5, 2012 - August 30, 2013 - note: Jeter missed most of 2013 after suffering an ankle injury in the 2012 playoffs.)

Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had a nice bounce-back game after a disappointing outing against Miami last Tuesday, as he went 6 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on three hits, striking out five, with two walks and a hit-batter.

Tanaka improved to 3-2 and notched his first win of the season at The Stadium. This was his best outing since his first start at Toronto on March 30, when he allowed a run on three hits in six innings in a Yankee win.

The Miami pitcher who beat Tanaka last Tuesday at the Stadium, Jarlin Garcia also had a nice performance on Monday night.

Garcia was on the hill against the Dodgers, and he went six innings, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk and struck out seven. He got a no-decision as the Dodgers won 2-1. Garcia's earned-run average this season is 1.00, so keep an eye on this budding phenom on Derek Jeter's squad.

Yankees Sign A.J. Cole:
After the game, the Yankees announced that they acquired right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals in exchange for cash considerations.
Cole, 26, made four appearances (two starts) with the Nationals this season, going 1-1 with a 13.06 ERA (10.1IP, 15ER) and 10K. He was designated for assignment on April 20, 2018. Over four Major League seasons with Washington (2015-18), has gone 5-8 with a 5.32 ERA (110.0IP, 65ER) and 102K in 26 games (19 starts).
A native of Winter Springs, Fla., he was originally selected by the Nationals in the fourth round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. He was traded to Oakland on December 23, 2011, before being reacquired by Washington as part of a three-team trade (also Seattle) on January 16, 2013.
Cole has been added to the 40-man roster and will be added to the 25-man roster. Right-handed pitcher David Hale has been designated for assignment. 
Hale was signed and selected to the active roster before Sunday's game and on Monday night, pitched two shutout innings, striking out three, while scattering three hits.

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