The early production from Jasson Dominguez is helping the New York Yankees possibly inch back in the American League wild-card race.
Back over .500 for the first time in over three weeks, the Yankees will attempt to stretch their winning streak to a season-high six games on Thursday night when they host Detroit Tigers. New York will be looking to sweep a three-game series.
The Yankees (70-69) are 5-0 since Dominguez was promoted from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre on Friday. He hit a two-run homer in his first career at-bat, added a tiebreaking two-run homer on Sunday and then hit the tiebreaking home run to open the third inning of New York’s 4-3 win over Detroit on Wednesday.
Dominguez had three hits on Wednesday and is 7-for-21 (.333) since joining the Yankees. He is the second player in team history to hit at least three homers in his first five career games, joining his Triple-A manager Shelley Duncan (three homers in 2007).
“He’s playing with that little grin on his face and enjoying playing baseball right now,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of his new slugger. “Obviously right in the middle of us winning games.”
The Yankees are 10-4 since losing nine straight from Aug. 12-22, their longest skid since 1982. New York is 6 1/2 games out of the AL’s final wild-card spot and seeking its first six-game winning streak since winning seven straight from Sept. 18-25, 2022.
Besides Dominguez, Aaron Judge had two hits and a walk on Wednesday and has reached base in seven of his past nine plate appearances.
Detroit (63-76) is hoping to avoid its ninth straight loss in New York. Kerry Carpenter and Andy Ibanez hit RBI singles on Wednesday, but the Tigers stuck out 11 times and were done in by their inability to keep Dominguez from homering.
“He is an exciting young player,” Detroit manager A.J. Hinch said. “I like young players and when they come up and look immediately comfortable. You pay attention because he certainly looks the part. He’s put the ball in play against us. He’s hit the ball hard. He hit the ball out of the ballpark, so it looks like he’s off to a good start.”
Hinch’s other concern pertains to his pitching staff, which has been taxed the past two days. The Tigers used six pitchers on Tuesday in a scheduled bullpen game and were forced to do the same Wednesday after Matt Manning fractured his right foot on a comebacker by Giancarlo Stanton in the first inning.
In the series finale, Carlos Rodon (2-4, 5.70 ERA) will make his 10th start as a Yankee and fourth since missing two weeks with a hamstring injury. Rodon allowed two runs on three hits in five innings in a win at Houston on Friday, and he is 1-0 with a 2.87 ERA since coming back from his third injury this season.
Rodon is 6-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 11 career starts against Detroit. He last faced the Tigers on Aug. 23, 2022, when he struck out 10 and allowed one run in seven innings while leading the San Francisco Giants to a 3-1 win.
Eduardo Rodriguez (10-7, 3.11 ERA) will get the ball for the Tigers. He allowed one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings during a 4-2 win over the host Chicago White Sox on Friday.
Since allowing five runs in a 12-3 loss to the Oakland A’s on July 5, Rodriguez is 6-2 with a 3.76 ERA in his past nine starts. During that span, the left-hander has allowed two runs or fewer six times and has completed seven innings twice.
Rodriguez is 8-6 with a 3.76 ERA in 24 career appearances (22 starts) against the Yankees and is making his second start versus them as a Tiger. He last faced them April 20, 2022, in Detroit, when he allowed three runs in six innings during a 5-3 loss.
–Field Level Media