Sanchez powers Yankees over Tigers
DETROIT — Gary Sanchez continued his power surge with his third homer in two games. A couple of his teammates hopped on the bandwagon.
The New York Yankees have regained their offensive groove, battering the soft underbelly of the Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff.
The Yankees reached double digits for the second straight night, rolling to a 10-2 victory on Wednesday at Comerica Park.
Didi Gregorius and Chase Headley also smacked solo shots, while Ronald Torreyes supplied a career-high-tying four hits.
New York, which won the series opener 13-4, scored in double digits in back-to-back games for the first time since piling up a combined 30 runs against Baltimore June 10-11.
“I think hitting can be contagious, I really do,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re getting contributions up and down the lineup. When we were going really well as an offense, that’s what we were doing. It wasn’t just coming from one spot, so that’s really good to see.”
Sanchez once again led the charge. He homered in the first inning and added a two-run single in the third. The catcher had a pair of two-run homers during the series opener on Tuesday. He has homered in six of the past nine games, and he has nine long balls over the past 14 games.
Girardi hinted he would keep Sanchez’s hot bat in the lineup as a designated hitter on Thursday.
“I might,” he said. “We’ll see what we do tomorrow, but, yeah, he’s going really well.”
Luis Severino (11-5) collected a victory for the sixth time in his last seven starts. He limited the Tigers to one run on six hits and a walk while striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings.
He enjoyed working with a big cushion.
“I try to compete every time they give me the ball but when you go out there and see six runs, it’s good,” Severino said.
Gregorius and Headley drove in two runs apiece for New York (68-57). Torreyes scored once and drove in a run, and Aaron Judge chipped in two hits, including a run-scoring double.
Torreyes is filling in for injured second baseman Starlin Castro. He is batting .328 since the All-Star break.
“He figured out how to do it last year,” Girardi said. “He has a pretty simple swing. He understands what he needs to do to be prepared. He works really hard and he’s gotten more consistent playing time this year.”
Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias ripped solo homers for the Tigers (54-71), who have lost 14 of their past 17 games.
Losing pitcher Jordan Zimmermann (7-11) gave up seven runs on nine hits in five innings. He has allowed seven earned runs in each of his past three starts.
“I’m scuffling right now. I’m scuffling bad,” Zimmermann said. “The last three outings I did absolutely nothing to help this team win.”
Zimmermann admits his confidence is shaken.
“Obviously, when you go through something like this, you’re not going to be as confident,” he said. “It’s just the command right now. I have no clue where it went or what the problem is but I’m going to go back to the drawing board and keep searching.”
Sanchez’s shot in the first inning didn’t travel as far as his monstrous 493-foot blast the previous night, but it still put the Yankees up 1-0.
New York opened a 6-0 lead in the third. Sanchez’s bases-loaded single brought home the first two runs. Judge’s double to deep center made it 4-0. Gregorius ripped a single up the middle to knock in Sanchez, and Headley’s sacrifice fly brought home Judge.
Gregorius clubbed his 19th homer of the season to right-center field in the fifth for a 7-0 lead.
NOTES: Yankees rookie RF Aaron Judge served as the designated hitter on Wednesday. “Physically, I think he’s doing pretty well but when you get in a stretch like we’re in, 13 (games) in a row, if you can give a guy a DH day, I think it helps him,” manager Joe Girardi said. ... New York’s Gary Sanchez is just the third catcher in American League history to hit at least 25 homers in a season at age 24 or younger, joining Detroit’s Rudy York (1938) and Matt Nokes (1987). ... Detroit RHP Anibal Sanchez threw on flat ground Wednesday for the first time since going on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. ... Tigers CF Mikie Mahtook did not start Wednesday, though he appeared as a defensive replacement. He has gone hitless in his past 13 at-bats.