Yankees fifth-inning fireworks spark Toronto 12-3 outburst

Yankees fifth-inning fireworks spark Toronto 12-3 outburst

Boy, how about that ball club?

After three straight nailbiters against the Rays and facing another potential playoff team, it looked like the Yankees had to get back to smashing the ball and not relying on their high-leverage backup arms for a night. And, uh, that’s exactly what they did, hitting four home runs to win Game 1 against the Blue Jays 12-3.

It was definitely one of those “they got us in the first half, I’m not going to lie” game. The Yankee hitters had more than a few very strong appearances against Ross Stripling – Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres worked it particularly well – they really didn’t have much to show for it. Blue Jays prospect Gabriel Moreno opened the scoring in the second, with a ground single that put Toronto up 1-0.

New York got something off Stripling in the fourth, as Torres continued his good night, splitting the outfield on an RBI brace that brought DJ. Torres himself dribbled home on a dribbler on the right side of an infield off Kyle Higashioka’s bat (more evidence of not tipping right-handers), and the Yankees had a lead themselves. , but it really looked like it should be more than 2-1.

Well, enter round five:

At no time did I think that ball from Stanton’s bat was going to leave the stadium, and yet it did. 4-1 Yankees, and metaphorically the dam broke.

I appreciate that the little flair on the right that just carried and carried was hit by Stanton, and the boom no doubt center left was DJ’s home run. Amusing little twist from what one would expect. Torres and Joey Gallo followed with a pair of doubles, making it 6-1.

After Aaron Judge was intentionally walked, Anthony Rizzo threw the dagger for the second night in a row:

It’s been a lot of fun comparing Rizzo’s performance in the Bronx to Rizzo’s on the road. Coming into play today, he had a 144 wRC+ at Yankee Stadium, and was below average on the road. For at least tonight, he beat those splits, and his dinger was truly the knockout blow as the Yankees scored double-digit runs for the 11th time this season.

Not to be lost in all of this, Jordan Montgomery was also very strong. He retired the first two men he faced, and before Alejandro Kirk struck late in the sixth, only Moreno was able to register a southpaw hit. It’s a good sign of your season when you go six innings, give up two runs, and your ERA goes up, but he remained the unsung hero of the rotation and perhaps the entire team.

Manny Bañuelos came in to work on a three-out save, and it didn’t really go well for him. Without much command, he allowed a run in 1.1 innings, walked two-for-one strikeouts, and generally struggled to put together competitive pitches:

Bañuelos has been a great story and hasn’t really done anything wrong in his seven innings heading into tonight, but you wonder how much time is left for the roster. The club clearly don’t trust his use in just about any other scenario, and when you have sparse innings you really need to make them count. It just doesn’t.

Gallo crowned us with one of the cleanest, if not the cleanest swings he’s taken as a Yankee:

I said in the comments that the home runs, by and large, are the product of a good process. You don’t hit baseballs 400 feet by accident. You choose terrain that you can drive, and your swing from your feet should be in line. Hopefully this process is repeatable and Gallo continues to make this range even more dangerous.

With Bañuelos out of the game, Miguel Castro and Lucas Luetge covered the final five outs, and they did so without any drama. The final score was 12-3, New York.

After tonight, the worst-case scenario is for the Yankees to leave Toronto nine games in the AL East race. They’ll be in trouble tomorrow against Alek Manoah, his 1.67 ERA and one who appears to have a deep personal vendetta with the Yankees based on his four starts against them so far in his young career. Manoah is really good, but it’s the best team in baseball and Jameson Taillon is no slouch himself, so my expectations are high. The first pitch for that one comes at 3:07 p.m. EST.

The score of the box

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