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Yankees Hot Corner – Balls on parade

The Yankees took two of three from their AL East rival Boston Red Sox as the Bombers regained their power stroke.

The New York Yankees came into the weekend series against the Boston Red Sox in the midst of a power outage. The last time the Bronx Bombers scored more than six runs was on June 20th. That may seem like a high threshold to hold them to, but they’re on pace to break the record for both runs scored in a year and home runs hit.

Miguel Andujar got to Eduardo Rodriguez early with a single up the middle to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead. Both Andujar and Greg Bird are feeling the pressure with Brandon Drury up from Scranton-Wilkes Barre, so they needed to deliver this weekend and boy did they. The Yankees were able to break the game open in the fourth with two home runs by Andujar and Bird (naturally). The Yankees finished the game off with another Bird home run and an Aaron Judge bomb to cap off the evening. C.C. Sabathia pitched seven excellent innings as the Yankees cruised to an 8-1 victory.

We’re not going to count game two as part of the home run barrage because the Yankees didn’t score any runs. They were held to one hit by Red Sox ace Chris Sale and struck out 11 times against him. It didn’t matter because bad Sonny Gray came to play on Saturday, giving up six runs in just 2 1/3 innings. Gray has been inconsistent at best but has been absolutely horrible at home. Maybe the notion that some people can’t pitch in the Bronx is true, and there’s no better example than Gray right now.

David Price was just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees as the Yankees have given Price fits no matter what team he pitches for. It’s a bit of the “Pedro Effect” where the Yankees seem to own one ace pitcher in particular, and that said pitcher gets in his own head about it. The Yankees got to work early, scorching Price in the first inning with an Aaron Judge solo shot and a three-run homer by the rookie Gleyber Torres.

The Bombers weren’t done, hitting another three home runs in the second and fourth innings, two by Aaron Hicks and one by newcomer Kyle Higashioka. It was a particularly important home run for Higashioka as it was the first Major League hit of his career after starting his career 0-for-22. Higashioka was very happy that he was able to get that ball back, from a Red Sox fan no less.

The Yankees finished off their monster series with a third home run for Hicks, the first of his career. Hicks has been heating up lately, so it’s no surprise that he was able to get his first career three home run game.  Maybe the ghost of Clint Frazier put some pressure on him as well.  Regardless, Luis Severino was on the mound and cruised through 6 2/3 innings of two-hit ball. Severino was masterful as always and is making a name for himself in the Cy Young discussion. The Yankees win in a laugher 11-1.

While it may not mean all that much in the long run, taking another series from the Red Sox is essential at this time for the Yankees. They would have won their two games without that offensive stroke, but it’s good to see that the bats are waking up. The Yankees have the second-best team ERA in the Major Leagues, just behind Houston with 3.48. Good pitching beats good hitting every time in the playoffs, but the Yankees can do both, and are well on their way to a playoff berth and hopefully much more. It definitely helps when you score 8+ runs a game.

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