Suddenly, the New York Yankees are seeing their power return, and it is allowing them to win games by fairly comfortable margins.
The Yankees will attempt to maintain their power surge on Wednesday afternoon when they go for a three-game sweep of the visiting Oakland Athletics.
New York hit eight homers in a 13-game span between April 18-30 and lost eight times while scoring three runs or fewer in 10 instances. The Yankees have 14 homers in its past eight games this month, including six in a pair of five-run victories during the current series. They head into Wednesday after scoring 24 runs in their past three contests.
“Just feels good to have an offensive production like that and rebound after a tough last series and come back and play good baseball,” New York first baseman Anthony Rizzo said.
In New York’s 7-2 win on Monday, Oswaldo Cabrera, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Hicks homered. It was the first time the Yankees went deep four times in a game this season.
Torres and Jake Bauers hit two-run homers in the Yankees’ 10-5 win on Tuesday. New York reached double-digit runs for the third time this season and first time at home.
Aaron Judge returned from a right hip strain and drove in two runs while Torres knocked in three, putting the Yankees in position to sweep a series for the first time ahead this year.
The improvement is coming at a good time, as the Yankees will host a four-game series against the major-league-leading Tampa Bay Rays beginning on Thursday.
“It’s definitely nice,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “We have a chance to have a really good series (Wednesday), so we want to put our best foot forward (Wednesday), but definitely every series is big and anytime you can grab wins throughout the season it’s important.”
Oakland is 4-for-22 with runners in scoring position in the series and trying to avoid getting swept for the fifth time. The A’s had 10 hits on Tuesday, with Jordan Diaz and Shea Langeliers doing much of the damage.
Diaz homered in three straight at-bats, hitting two solo shots and a two-run drive after going deep once in his previous 29 major league games. Langeliers had three hits after going 8-for-54 (.148) over his prior 15 games.
“To have the game (Diaz) had tonight says something about the young man,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said postgame. “He’s got a special tool, and he can hit and he showed that tonight.”
After Clarke Schmidt pitched a career-high six innings for New York on Tuesday, Jhony Brito (2-3, 6.08 ERA) will make his eighth career start on Wednesday.
Brito has allowed three runs or fewer in five of his starts but is coming off his second-worst outing, when he allowed four runs on six hits in four innings during a no-decision at Tampa Bay on Friday.
Kyle Muller (1-2, 6.62 ERA) goes for the A’s on Wednesday, hoping to turn in a solid outing for an Oakland rotation that is 2-19 with a major league-worst 7.76 ERA.
Muller allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings and got a win over the host Kansas City Royals on Friday. It was the first victory by an Oakland starter through 33 games, the longest drought to open a season in baseball history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Neither Brito nor Muller has previously faced his Wednesday opponent.
–Field Level Media