CINCINNATI — The Yankees dragged themselves into their hotel rooms here shortly before 6 on Monday morning, the official end of the 18-inning marathon in Chicago that concluded less than four hours earlier.
“Now we’re going to see what kind of team we’ve got here,” Aaron Judge, who had Monday night off, said before the game. “Are we going to come out and continue to hit the way we’ve been doing? What’s going to happen? I think we’re going to come out here and keep doing our thing.”
Judge apparently is as good at reading his club as he is at launching home runs. Though it wasn’t always pretty for the Yankees, the result was just fine, a 10-4 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
“It’s a tough performance by our guys,” Joe Girardi said. “Guys are really fatigued . . . end up putting 10 on the board, it shows you something about these guys.”
With their sixth straight victory, the Yankees improved to an MLB-best 21-9 — 20-5 since a 1-4 start. They had 13 hits, including home runs by Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday that upped their American League-leading total to 50, and seven walks.
Masahiro Tanaka flew to Cincinnati early Sunday evening and fell asleep, he said, just after watching Aaron Hicks score the go-ahead run in the top of the 18th in the 5-4 win over the Cubs.
He has been sharper in his Yankees career, but he did give his club some much-needed distance after the damage done to the bullpen in the previous game. The Yankees threw 289 pitches in the finale against the Cubs, and Girardi declared Adam Warren, Jonathan Holder, Chasen Shreve and Aroldis Chapman unavailable Monday night.
“I did have that in my mind. It was a long game last night, obviously,” Tanaka said through his translator. “I did have the thought that I really wanted to go deep so we could save the bullpen.”
Tanaka (5-1, 4.36) got the Reds to hit into three double plays (Tommy Layne induced a fourth in the ninth) and allowed four runs (three earned) and a season-high 10 hits in seven innings.
His most impressive inning was the fourth, when he escaped a bases-loaded, none-out jam by inducing a pop-up and a double-play ball. His most frustrating sequence followed a double play in the seventh, as he walked Zack Cozart, then hung a splitter to Joey Votto (three RBIs), whose 10th homer made it 7-4.
In the eighth, Gardner’s two-run homer and Holliday’s solo shot gave the Yankees a 10-4 lead and their sixth game of at least 10 runs in their last 13 games. Gardner has six homers and 12 RBIs in his last nine games and has an 11-game hitting streak.
“I’m seeing the ball well,” he said. “Things are going my way.”
The oddest inning was the seventh, when Reds righthander Drew Storen hit three Yankees — Hicks, Gary Sanchez and Chase Headley — and walked one, contributing to a pair of runs. Ronald Torreyes had an RBI single in the inning.
Headley took a fastball off his right knee and Girardi said he plans to rest him Tuesday night. “I don’t think it’s anything too serious,” Headley said.
The Yankees made it difficult for Reds righthander Rookie Davis, a 2011 draft pick who was one of four players they sent to the Reds in December 2015 for Chapman. Davis, making his fourth career start, allowed five runs (four earned), seven hits and three walks in 4 1⁄3 innings.
Tired or not, the Yankees scored three in the first, with the big hit Sanchez’s two-run single, the first of his three hits.
“Last night was tough. We got in pretty late,” Gardner said. “But it’s one of those things where you just have to battle through it, and we did that.”