© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees came into Game 5 on the brink of elimination and in desperate need of a big hit with runners on. Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks came through with a bang in the first inning off Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander.

Just minutes after DJ LeMahieu woke up the crowd at Yankee Stadium with a game-tying blast, Hicks tacked on the damage to Verlander’s disastrous first inning. He unloaded on Verlander’s fastball with two runners on and it banged into the foul pole in right field for a three-run shot.

Hicks entered tonight in a 2-for-23 slump against Verlander in his career. He picked quite the time to take him deep and now Yankee Stadium is as loud as ever. Meanwhile, it marked the first time since Aug. 11, 2014 that Verlander allowed four-plus runs in the first inning.

Now holding a 4-1 lead and their lineup seemingly clicking, the Yankees are right back in position to potentially make this a series.

Matt Johnson
Writer at Sportsnaut. Journalism student at San Diego State University. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection