NEW YORK — For the third straight game, both Gary Sanchez and Gleyber Torres homered as the Yankees dropped the Astros for the second straight night, 4-1.
The win was New York’s 48th of the season and seventh in a row. They are also now five games clear of second place Tampa Bay for the top spot in the American League East.
Sanchez set the tone early with a two-run home run, a 481-foot blast off of Brad Peacock, that went over the bullpen in left center field. His 23rd of the year tied him with Edwin Encarnacion for the AL lead.
Starting for the Bombers was James Paxton, who delivered for the second straight start. Though he only went five innings, a Jake Marisnick double in the fourth scored the only run plated against the left-hander. All in all, Paxton struckout seven Astros, while giving up just five hits.
Aaron Boone once again went to his quartet in the bullpen to close it out and yet again they delivered. Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman, who earned his 21st save of the year, all did their jobs as the Yankee closed out the win.
Houston did try to make a comeback in the late innings but Torres was there to foil any semblance of it. First, Torres mashed a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Yankees some breathing room.
Then, in the eighth, with two men on and just one out, Torres started a nifty 4-6-3 double play that got Britton and the Yankees out of the jam.
Notably, Aaron Judge made his return to the line-up, batting lead-off and playing right field. While he did go 0-4, it was good to see Judge back in Pinstripes.
Unfortunately for the team, however, fan favorite Cameron Maybin went down with a calf strain in the second inning. While the severity of the injury is not yet known, a trip to the Injured List is almost certain.
The series continues tomorrow with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound, facing left-hander Wade Miley.