NEW YORK – The Yankees are proud of the belief that a visitor behind the scenes on any given day could never see if they were driving a hot streak or struggling during a cold period. That may be true, but the answer has become clear when the game starts, a late summer wave that is unable to contain their dugout swagger.
Giancarlo Stanton and Luke you each ran for a couple of runs to support six scoreless innings from Gerrit Cole as the Yankees continued to roll and extended their winning streak to a season-high nine games with one 7-1 victory over the twins Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. Bronx native Andrew Velazquez rounded out the bases for his first Major League home run in the eighth.
“We just have good at-bats, top to bottom,” Stanton said. “The biggest factor has been closing down the opposing pitcher. If we have a lot of guys who are not chasing and forcing them to enter the zone, try to be more precise, they will just make more mistakes. I think that’s what we’ve done. ”
The Yanks (72-52) moved to a season-high 20 games over .500, beating around five runs in the fifth inning and chasing right-hander Kenta Maeda, who left with right forearm tightness. Stanton and Voit stroked two-round doubles in the frame, which also featured a wild course. Tyler Wade had two hits in the match, including a second-inning RBI single that opened the scoring.
“Hopefully, that’s what we can start doing more and more — the weight of the lineup, the quality of the batsmen up and down,” said manager Aaron Boone. “You will not always break through the first time or the second time in a given game. But the more we can have these quality bats time and time again, you give yourself a chance to break through and get a big inning. ”
Since July 6, the Yankees’ 30-11 record is the best in the Majors. They have won each of their last nine series.
“It’s definitely been a good stretch,” Cole said. “It catapulted us into the second half. Even in our darkest moments, we thought we were better than what our record was. ”
Cole took his second start since returning from the COVID-19 injury list, crossing to his 12th win and putting out the traffic in the second and fifth innings. In the second, Cole pinned two runners on board by eliciting a Willians Astudillo popout. His biggest test came in the fifth, when he allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out.
The Ace rose back to knock out Jorge Polanco with a 99.4 mph fastball, then froze Josh Donaldson with a change of 91.2 mph, keeping Minnesota off the board.
“I just made good courses,” Cole said. “I tried to influence Polanco and see if I could dictate the stroke play. So when I did, I came back to Donaldson and also performed some good lanes for him. ”
Cole hit a clean sixth inning before then leaving with a lead of six runs, after spreading five hits and a walk while hitting six out. This season, Cole has made six scoreless starts on at least six innings and improved to 6-2 with a 2.39 ERA in 12 home starts. Polanco hit an eighth inning homer off Lucas Luetge to break the closure.
“I thought he was really good,” Boone said of Cole. “All four courses were in play for him today, and he used them all effectively. He was pitch-efficient. I thought he did a good job, a few times he came in jam, especially in the fifth. He executed in a large place. ”
Added twins Ryan Jeffers: “He got the big contract for a reason.”
The Yankees have dominated the Twins defensively for nearly two decades — they are 92-36 against Minnesota since 2002, the Majors’ best record of any team against an opponent over that span. Saturday’s victory could have been even more convincing if Rougned Odor had spoken a little softer in the seventh inning.
The recorder asked for time from home plate referee Angel Hernandez, a request was granted milliseconds before Ralph Garza Jr. provided a pitch.
Smell sweated the ball over the wall into the right field bullpen for what the crowd thought would be a three-run homer, and Odor jogged down the first-baseline even though Anthony Rizzo kept his place at third base. The referees waved the homer off, and even though Odor struck out, the game was relegated to an odd footnote in another otherwise flawless performance.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Voit said. “This lineup clicks and the boys roll.”
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