Now this is (mostly) what they had in mind.
The Yankees won their season-high fourth game in a row Tuesday night, beating the Twins, 8-3, behind four home runs and six superb innings from CC Sabathia.
The Yankees (13-9) have outscored their opponents, 36-6, over the four-game streak. All four have been won by their starting pitchers, including Sabathia (1-0), who was charged with one unearned run in his second start since coming off the disabled list following a hip injury.
Sabathia was lifted after just 82 pitches and the Yankees leading 5-1. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out four.
Gary Sanchez homered twice, Didi Gregorius hit a two-run shot and Aaron Judge had a solo homer for the Yankees, who have hit 36 in 22 games. Gregorius (3-for-4), who leads the Yankees with eight home runs (all at home), also had a double and an RBI single. He leads the majors with 27 RBIs.
Gregorius hit a grand slam in his final at-bat in Monday’s 14-1 win over the Twins. So in a five at-bat span over two games, Gregorius had four hits, two home runs, a double and drove in seven.
“It’s a lot of fun to watch,” Sabathia said. “You just want to keep it going.”
The weather has turned warm — or at least warmer than it has been. The Yankees have turned hot.
“We’re getting there,” Judge said. “We’re getting there. It’s still early, but just have to stick to our approach. Keep having good at-bats, grinding down the starters.”
A down note for the Yankees was an 0-for-4, three-strikeout performance for boo magnet Giancarlo Stanton one night after Stanton went 4-for-4 with a walk. Another was making four errors after going four games without one. The Yankees have committed 22 errors on the season.
Dellin Betances also struggled after relieving Sabathia to start the seventh. Betances walked leadoff batter Eduardo Escobar and then threw away a pickoff attempt for an error. After a strikeout, Mitch Garver singled to right. Escobar stopped at third as Judge threw the ball on the fly to Sanchez. Garver strayed way too far off first and Sanchez threw to second baseman Gleyber Torres, who had sneaked in to cover. But Torres took his eye off the ball and missed the throw for an error as Escobar scored to make it 5-2.
Betances walked Logan Morrison to bring the tying run to the plate, and Aaron Boone called on David Robertson to clean up the mess. Robertson struck out Ehire Adrianza and got pinch hitter Joe Mauer on a comebacker to end the inning.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the first on a double by Escobar. Sanchez tied the score in the second with a laser home run to right off righthander Jose Berrios (2-2).
Gregorius had an RBI single to left in the second, and Torres grounded a run-scoring single to center in the fourth to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. It was the first career RBI for Torres (2-for-4). Gregorius’ home run to the second deck in right and inside the foul pole in the fifth made it 5-1.
Judge homered to right off Tyler Duffey in the seventh to make it 6-2. It was Judge’s seventh home run. Later in the inning, Sanchez hit a massive two-run home run to Monument Park to give the Yankees an 8-2 lead. Sanchez has five homers.
Berrios, who came in with a 1.63 ERA, allowed five runs in four-plus innings.
“Got his pitch count up to where he wasn’t going to be able to make it through five,” Boone said. “We just kept adding on there. Just a great job by our lineup up and down, I thought, having quality at-bats against an elite pitcher. And then CC took it from there and gave us another real good start.”