Gary Sanchez hit a three-run homer in the sixth and Jameson Taillon pitched 6 1/3 effective innings as the host New York Yankees pulled away for an 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday afternoon.
Aaron Judge and Luke Voit added solo homers as the Yankees won for the seventh time in nine games. New York will look to carry the momentum when it heads into its first visit to Fenway Park to face the Boston Red Sox, who swept the Yankees on June 4-6.
Giancarlo Stanton, Rougned Odor and Judge had three hits apiece as the Yankees cruised after their previous six wins were decided in the sixth inning or later. Stanton hit an RBI single in the eighth inning and Odor hit a run-scoring infield single in the first.
Sanchez continued his tear by hitting his eighth homer in his past 23 games after hammering a 1-2 fastball from Anthony Swarzak into the visiting bullpen beyond the left-center field fence. Sanchez’s latest homer occurred after he hit the game-tying homer off Greg Holland in Wednesday’s 6-5 win.
Winless in his previous eight starts since beating the Detroit Tigers on May 1, Taillon (2-4) allowed one run and five hits. His 6 1/3 innings of work matched his longest outing of the season.
Taillon struck out six, walked two and threw 96 pitches, his most since throwing 104 on Sept. 18, 2018 against Kansas City.
After issuing a walk to Whit Merrifield in the fifth, Taillon got consecutive one-pitch outs to Carlos Santana and Salvador Perez to end the inning and then needed seven pitches in the sixth. He exited to a nice ovation from the crowd that included 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui.
Judge homered two batters into the game off Brad Keller (6-8) and added an RBI single in the second. Judge fell a triple shy of the cycle and reached five times.
Voit hit his second homer in three games since returning from an oblique injury when he reached the right field seats for a 4-0 lead in the third.
Keller allowed four runs and nine hits in five innings. He threw 114 pitches and lost his fourth straight start.
Rookie Sebastian Rivero had an RBI double for Kansas City, which lost for the 14th time in 18 games. It was the first career hit for Rivero, who drew a game-tying walk Wednesday off Aroldis Chapman.
–Field Level Media