Gary Sanchez broke out in a big way on Sunday versus the Orioles. The 26-year-old catcher collected his first career three-homer game propelling the Yankees to a 15-3 victory.
The Yankees set the single-season home run record last season, slugging 267 long balls on their way to 100 regular season wins.
While a contingent of fans will say that relying on home runs attributed to their downfall in the ALDS, I could point out a number of things besides swinging for the fences that were their undoing.
Besides, it’s a new year, and thus far it’s been a shaky one at that. With 11 players already listed on the injured list, Aaron Boone’s bunch needed a complete and utter dominating performance. Seven home runs later — and the Yanks got just that, beating the Orioles 15-3.
A pair of Baby Bombers, Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier got the party started in the second inning when each slugged homers over the center field fence.
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Frazier’s bomb marked the Yanks’ 16 straight run scored via the long ball. However, in the third inning, Gary Sanchez’s two-run moon shot broke the consecutive run mark via the home run — a record that had stood since 1977.
Acting as the Yankee DH on Sunday, Sanchez went 3-for-6, adding two more homers later in the day for a total of six RBIs. Sanchez’s six home runs tie him with Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers for the most in baseball.
Frazier, too, had what we all hope is his breakout game, as Red Thunder went 4-for-5, with two jacks and four RBIs.
Austin Romine’s two-run blast in the ninth inning seemed to get lost in the shuffle — marking the fifth time in club history that the Bombers have hit five or more dingers in a game, and the first time since July 31, 2007.
Perhaps more important than tying or setting homer-related records, is that the Yanks were able to sweep a downtrodden Orioles team, and move to 5-4 on the season, following a less than stellar start.
Getting young players that struggled with injury and inconsistencies last season is a massive plus for the Yankees to overcome to obstacles of having a plethora of essential players on the shelf — keeping them afloat until reinforcements arrive in a traditionally difficult AL East.
Of the last 29 runs scored, 26 have come via the long ball, something Aaron Boone has no problem with. Per ESPN:
"“Never too much for us,” manager Aaron Boone said. “I’m good with us hitting as many as we need to.”"
Despite getting picked off base twice earlier in the series, Boone praised Sanchez’s continued professional approach.
"“He’s a great player that’s still growing, and it’s our job to help him continue to reach his peak on every facet of the game,” Boone said. “He’s making strides in a lot of areas of the game, and we know we’ve got a special talent on our hands, and a guy who impacts the game — period.”"