Monday night’s 14-1 win over the Twins was the kind of night Yankees fans dreamed of at the beginning of the season when they looked at the lineup on paper. All nine starters reached base, and Didi Gregorius, the last to do it, launched a grand slam. And Giancarlo Stanton went 4-4 with a monster home run, as he raised his batting average from .185 to .224. Tyler Austin and Miguel Andujar also homered.
“Tonight was a great night,” Aaron Boone said. “Up and down quality at-bats, kicking it off in the first.”
The Yankees scored three first inning runs with two outs as Gary Sanchez doubled in two runs, and Aaron Hicks followed with an RBI single.
Andujar homered and doubled, becoming the second youngest Yankee with extra-base hits in seven consecutive games, only behind Joe DiMaggio.
“I think he’s gotten comfortable and now we’re seeing what a gifted hitter can do,” Boone said.
By the time the three hour and 38 minute game ended, it was easy to forget that Masahiro Tanaka had started. Tanaka gave up one run on three hits over 6.2 innings to improve to 3-2, while lowering his ERA by more than a full run to 5.28.
“Stayed away from the slug for the most part with the fastball,” Boone said. “I think he used the fastball enough to really set up his other pitches.”
It was the first time this season that Tanaka did not allow a home run. He has been successful at not allowing homers at hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium, allowing no home runs in nine of his last 14 starts, including two in the postseason, in the Bronx.
Pretty much everything went right, as Gleyber Torres singled in the bottom of the eighth for his first career hit. Tyler Austin homered off Ryan LaMarre, who had come in from centerfield to pitch.
And David Hale, who pitched for former Yankee Scott Bradley at Princeton, pitched the final two innings in his first appearance in pinstripes.
The Yankees are 10-0 when allowing four or less runs, the only team still undefeated in baseball. The starting pitching is working deeper into games, and not coincidentally, the bullpen has been stellar for the last two weeks. It’s especially important, even in April, as the Yankees are in a season-long stretch of 18 consecutive days with games, barring a postponement.
And the fielding is helping out with a season-high four straight errorless games.
The Twins are always welcome at Yankee Stadium, as the Bombers are 10-1 at home against Minnesota since the start of 2015. It doesn’t help the Twins that the Yankees offense performed the way it’s capable of.