After being lassoed in the opener, the New York Yankees made the Texas Rangers look more like the hockey Rangers. The Bronx Bombers were back in business, setting a record with 13 players reaching double digits in homers, and they improved to 18-0-3 in the past 21 series at Yankee Stadium. The pinstripes also moved to a season-high 43 games above .500 on the campaign.
Tanaka labored. A Minor worked for Texas. So much for Labor Day huh? Well, the Yanks lineup did manage to take the afternoon off, as New York was blanked for the first time in 220 contests, falling 7-0.
Masahiro Tanaka toiled, yet he did grind out six innings with zero help from his offense. A Nomar Mazara sac fly in the first frame and a solo homer to right by Jose Trevino in the fifth inning was the extent of the damage allowed by Tanaka, who scattered seven hits, walked two, and fanned five. The Rangers would add a handful of more runs against the bullpen for insurance.
Mike Minor basically breezed through the New York order. The Rangers southpaw tossed seven scoreless, scattering five hits, fanning five. The pinstripes went 0-for-6 with RISP and left six on base on the afternoon.
Turnabout is fair play. The Yankees nearly posted their own shutout of the Rangers, drubbing them 10-1. Aaron Boone must’ve lit a fire under their asses after being blanked, because the Bronx Bombers weren’t messing around. Heck, even Tyler Wade collected a pair of hits.
The Bronx Bombers weren’t messing around with Edinson Volquez in the first frame. After Aaron Judge coaxed a walk, Gary Sanchez equalized his own franchise mark for home runs by a catcher in a single season. El Gary’s two-run tater to straightaway center was No. 33 on the campaign and powered the pinstripes to a 2-0 advantage.
Facing Ariel Jurado in the sixth inning, the Bronx Bombers walloped the baseball.
Didi Gregorius silenced the critics by smacking a 1-0 fastball to right-center for a three-run goner.
The ensuing batter, Sanchez, proceeded to break his own record with a blast to right off a first-pitch fastball, ramming home run No. 34 on the year.
After an Edwin Encarnacion single to short chased Jurado, Brett Gardner cracked home run No. 20 to right off a 1-0 sinker from Jonathan Hernandez.
During the seventh inning, Rafael Montero plunked Sanchez on the elbow but one batter later, Encarnacion wasn’t having it. Following an eight at-bat rehab stint in the minors, Encarnacion hammered a two-run tater to left off an 0-1 slider, capping off the scoring.
Can I rant a little here? Jonathan Loaisiga finished off the Rangers by pitching the final two frames. In the ninth, Loaisiga surrendered a solo homer to right to pinch-hitter Scott Heineman. It was Heineman’s first-career home run. A fan threw it back onto the field. Not only did that fan miss out on exchanging the ball for some nice swag, but I’m sorry, this is so stupid. It’s Yankee Stadium, not Wrigley Field; we’re Yankees fans, not loser Cubs fans. End of rant.
In what was a mini carbon copy of the game before, the Yankees handled the Rangers to earn the series victory 4-1.
TAKE LYNN FOR A SPIN
Ex-Yankee Lance Lynn arrived with an improved spin rate and a nice beard game but it didn’t take long for the Yankee bats to recognize him and figure him out.
During the third inning, Judge cracked home run No. 20, catching Gardner, who walked, with a blast to right-center for a two-run tater.
An Austin Romine RBI-double to left in the sixth against Taylor Guerrieri added insurance for a 4-0 lead.
A bullpen game was all the Yankees needed to secure a victory against a downtrodden Rangers lineup.
Chad Green pumped four K’s in two scoreless frames. Luis Cessa worked three scoreless with three K’s and lowered his season ERA to 3.82. Adam Ottavino worked a scoreless sixth. Tommy Kahnle fanned the side in the seventh. Zack Britton looked a bit gingerly, but bounced back from his calf cramp on Saturday with a scoreless eighth. Cory Gearrin surrendered a solo homer to Rougned Odor in the ninth but managed to finish the job.
At 92-49, the Yankees head to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox for a four-game series starting Friday evening.
Pitching probables: Domingo German vs. David Price, J.A. Happ vs. TBD, Masahiro Tanaka vs. TBD, TBD vs. TBD.