Yankee offense explodes while Tanaka turns a gem

The Yankees entered Monday night’s contest against the Twins coming off their first legit series win of the season. With prized prospect Gleyber Torres now manning second base in the Bronx, the Yankees would look to continue to build momentum while the struggling Masahiro Tanaka would look to rebound from a string of very poor outings. Tanaka started strong and even though he seemed to run out of gas in the middle innings yet again, the Yankees used some early (and late) offense to seize control and coast to a 14-1 victory.

Credit: Kathy Willens/AP Photo

Tanaka pitched around a walk in the first inning and in the bottom of the frame the Yankees staked him to an early lead. After a Brett Gardner walk, Giancarlo Stanton walked with two outs and Gary Sanchez followed with a booming two RBI double off the wall. Aaron Hicks followed with an RBI single to cap the inning. The white-hot Miguel Andújar continued to rake with two more extra base hits including a bullet solo home run into the left field lower deck in the second inning. Andújar is doing all he can to make the keep that third base job despite the impending return of Brandon Drury.

In what was perhaps his best real sign of offensive life since Opening Day, Giancarlo Stanton had a very good and promising night at the plate. He was on base five times including an absolute moonshot home run in the bottom of the fifth. He seriously demolished the ball, which landed halfway up the left field bleachers in Aaron Judge Territory. Giancarlo has had a rough go of it so far but the last several days there have been some promising signs. Once he gets hot we’ll forget all about these few weeks.

The Yankee offense got on the board early, but they caught fire late and turned this game into a laugher. They added three runs in the seventh before exploding for six more in the bottom of the eighth, an inning that featured Gleyber Torres' first career hit and was capped by a grand slam from the incomparable Didi Gregorius and a two-run shot from Tyler Austin. The offense has some life and it seems like they may be starting to gain some momentum.

Credit: Kathy Willens/AP Photo

While the Yankees did all that they needed to on offense, Masahiro finally took a step forward and rebounded from his recent rocky outings. Tanaka looked very sharp for the first four innings and while he ran into some trouble in the fifth inning and it looked like he may be headed for another breakdown, he was able to right the ship and give the Yankees 6.2 strong innings.

After Tanaka departed, it was Chad Green who emerged from the bullpen to close out the seventh inning. From there on it was newcomer David Hale who entered and cleaned up the last 2 innings to lock down the Yankees’ third straight win.

Winning Pitcher: Masahiro Tanaka 6.2 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K (3-2, 5.28 ERA) 
Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi 4.2 IP,  5 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 5 K (1-2, 4.50 ERA)

Giancarlo Stanton: 4-4, HR (5), BB, 3 R, 2 RBI
Didi Gregorius: 1-5, HR (7), 4 RBI, R
Tyler Austin: 2-5, HR (4), R, 4 RBI
Miguel Andujar: 2-5, HR (3), 2B, R, RBI
Gary Sanchez: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R
Aaron Judge: 1-3, 2 BB, 2 R

The Yankees and the Twins will square off again Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, with first pitch coming at 7:05 pm on the YES Network. The probable starters are CC Sabathia (0-0, 2.70 ERA) and Jose Berrios (2-1, 1.63 ERA).

Article by Matt Graziano


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