|Gary Sanchez. @Yankees.|
The Yankees took first place on Friday night, and opened up a two-game lead on Tampa Bay with a 11-4 win over the Orioles in Baltimore on Tuesday night.
Domingo German earned his league-leading ninth win of the season, Gary Sanchez hit a three-run home run in the first, and Gleyber Torres had a solid night, getting on base three times with an RBI.
These three have been as pivotal as anybody to the Yankees' success this season, and why they are 30-17 despite so many injuries.
German, Gary, and Gleyber, or the Yankees' version of Triple G, as the boxer Gennady Golovkin calls himself and Fieri nicknames his Guy's Grocery Games show.
German had another solid outing, as he threw five innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk, with five strikeouts.
The right-hander improved to 9-1 and he is the first Yankees pitcher to record nine wins in his first 10 appearances of the season since Tommy John, who was 9-0 through 10 apps. in 1979.
German is now just the fourth Yankees pitcher to ever win at least nine games before June, as Herb Pennock had 10 in 1926, John had nine in 1979, and Jack Chesbro had nine in 1904.
This was German's sixth straight victory, the longest streak by a Yankee since Ivan Nova's eight straight wins from July 1-September 2, 2011. It is the longest active streak in the Majors.
German has been the consistent force in the Yankees' rotation, as the next-highest win totals are the three by Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ, both of whom have been inconsistent, and James Paxton, who went on the injured list on May 4. CC Sabathia, who starts Wednesday night in Baltimore, is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA since he came back from offseason knee and heart surgery on April 13.
Sanchez is swinging a hot a bat as he ever has in his time in pinstripes, as his 14 home runs are tied for third-most in the American League. He has 8 home runs and 19 RBI in his last 18 games.
On Monday night, Sanchez hit a game-winning three-run home run in their 10-7 win to open the series in Baltimore.
In his next at-bat, in the first inning on Tuesday, he hit another three-run shot to give the Yankees a jolt on their way to an 11-4 win.
Sanchez's average is up to .263, as he has 30 RBI to go with those 14 homers, and he has 10 walks to give him an on-base percentage of .336, and when that is combined with his .653 slugging percentage, he has a .988 OPS.
Torres is the only projected Yankee starter to have played in nearly all games, as he was in 45 of their first 47 (through Tuesday.) Outfielder Brett Gardner has played in 44, while infielder DJ LeMahieu has been in 43, but that has been due to the depleted lineup.
Torres is hitting .299 with 10 home runs and 24 RBI, and is riding a 10-game hitting streak.
Last Wednesday against Baltimore, Torres had two home runs in the first game of their doubleheader and one in the nightcap to give him three on the day, and he had another two in Monday night's comeback win.
Torres now has five multi-home run games, and at 22 years and 158 days old, he is the youngest to hit that mark, surpassing Joe DiMaggio, who was 22 years and 198 days old when he got his fifth on June 11, 1937 against the St. Louis Browns.
As you can tell, Sanchez and Torres have cleaned up against Orioles pitching, as they each have eight home runs against Baltimore this season. They are tied for the most homers vs. one opponent in the Majors this season, tied with Milwaukee's Christian Yelich, who has eight against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gary and Gleyber are the first pair of Yankees teammates in the divisional era, which began in 1969, to each hit at least eight home runs vs. one opponent in the same season, and it isn't even Memorial Day.
The last Yankees to do so were Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris (the M&M Boys, another inspiration for the Triple G alliterative nickname of this current trio) in 1962 against the Kansas City A;s when they each had eight.
Torres and Sanchez are the second pair of teammates in the last 14 seasons to accomplish the feat, joining Boston's Mookie Betts and David Ortiz, who had eight apiece against Baltimore in 2016, and that was a year the Orioles made the playoffs.
The Orioles' record for most home runs allowed to one hitter in a season goes back to their St. Louis Browns days with Lou Gehrig's 12 home runs against them in 1931, Detroit's Hank Greenberg in 1946, and Chicago White Sox/Philadelphia A's slugger Gus Zernial in 1951.
Aaron Judge had 11 homers against Baltimore in 2017, the most against the O's in the divisional era,
a big chunk of Judge's 52 homers in his Rookie of the Year campaign.
The Yankees are one of the best stories in baseball, as they have proven that their will to win extends to whoever is on that field, and the new faces like Gio Urshela, Thairo Estrada, Cameron Maybin have been paced by the consistent dominance of Triple G.