The “roll” that Aaron Boone has said he was sure the Yankees were poised to start?
It just might be here.
Helped by two more extra-base hits from the ridiculously hot Miguel Andujar, a homer from the maybe suddenly-hot Giancarlo Stanton and a grand slam from Didi Gregorius, the Yankees pounded the Twins, 14-1, Monday night at the Stadium.
The Yankees had 13 hits, including four home runs and four doubles.
“We’re going to hurt you one to nine,” Stanton said. “Once we’re all clicking, it’s going to be a fun sight.”
The Yankees (12-9) , who also received a terrific start from Masahiro Tanaka, are a season-best three games over .500 and have their first three-game winning streak of the year. They are 5-2 on a homestand that has three games left against the Twins (8-9), a personal punching bag for the last 16 years (the Yankees are 79-31 against them since 2002).
Stanton went 4-for-4, including his fifth homer, a 435-foot rocket halfway up the bleachers in left in the fifth that made it 5-1. He also had a walk and two RBIs in bringing his season slash line to .224/.320/.459.
“As a hitter, you always love those nights, especially when it’s early and you’re off to a tough start,” Aaron Boone said. “You want to start gaining some traction, because it can help settle you in. Hopefully something that continues to build a little bit of momentum for him toward being the guy we know that he is.”
The 23-year-old Andujar, further throwing a hammerlock on the starting job at third, went 2-for-4 with a homer and double, making it seven straight games with at least one extra-base hit.
The other Yankees to accomplish that before the age of 24 (since 1908) were Mickey Mantle (1955) and Joe DiMaggio (1937).
“It’s amazing, but that’s what Miggy does,” said Aaron Judge, who doubled and scored in the seventh and walked and scored on Gregorius’ grand slam in the eighth. “I’ve seen it since I played with him in low-A Charleston [in 2014], man. The guy can hit.”
A heating-up Gary Sanchez started it all with a two-out, two-run double in the first off Twins righthander Jake Odorizzi, who never recovered after a 34-pitch, three-run inning. Odorizzi (1-2, 4.50) allowed five runs and five hits in 4 2⁄3 innings. Sanchez has hit safely in eight of nine games, going 12-for-37 (.324) with two homers, five doubles and 12 RBIs in the stretch.
Top prospect Gleyber Torres roped a single to center to start the eighth, the first hit of his major-league career. He scored on Gregorius’ second career grand slam, which gave him seven homers and 24 RBIs in 21 games. Gregorius is 9-for-26 (.346) with four homers and 11 RBIs on the homestand.
Tyler Austin’s two-run homer off centerfielder Ryan LaMarre later in the inning made it 14-1.
“If we’re able to do what we did tonight on a daily basis,” Sanchez said through his translator, “we’re going to have an opportunity to score a lot of runs.”
The beneficiary of that was Tanaka, coming off a dreadful performance seven days earlier, when he allowed seven runs (six earned) in five innings in a 9-1 loss to the lowly Marlins. He allowed one run and three hits in 6 2⁄3 innings, allowing Boone to give even more rest to a bullpen that has gotten its share for three straight games. Tanaka (3-2, 5.28) walked two and struck out five.
“While we’re not playing our best ball right now,” Boone said after the loss to the Marlins seven days earlier, “I’m quite certain we’ll get it rolling.”
The Yankees seem to have backed him up.