D.J. LeMahieu led off the bottom of the first with a HR (16), and added a three run HR (17) later as the Yanks (70-39) beat Boston in the first game of a day/night DH, 9-2.
When is it too early to start an “MVP” chant for DJ?
In the process, the Yanks, for now, opened up an 8 game lead over Tampa Bay and a
12 1/2 game lead over Boston.
And Boston looked like they were unraveling. Manager Alex Cora got ejected, and starting pitcher Chris Sale was also ejected for yelling at the umpire as he was pulled from the game.
Andrew Benintendi, who seems to own Domingo German, homered in the second to tie the game at one each.
But the Yanks struck for seven in the bottom of the fourth. Edwin Encarnacion led off with a single, and one out later, Gio Urshela (who made a great defensive play in the game in the top of the third inning) singled. After another out, the Yanks exploded, scoring all their runs with two out. Kyle Higashioka singled to load the bases. Breyvic Valera singled in one run to give the Yanks a 2-1 lead. Brett Gardner singled in two runs to make it 4-1. LeMahieu hit his second HR of the game, a 3-run HR, to make it 7-1. Aaron Judge doubled, and after Sale was pulled (and ejected) Edwin Encarnacion singled in Judge. 8-1.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. homered off of German in the fifth to cut it to 8-2, but other than the two gopher balls he gave up, German was great.
The Yanks got one more run in the sixth when Gardner singled, stole second, went to third on a flyout and scored on a single by Encarnacion (that should have been a double had Edwin busted it from the box instead of thinking it was gone). 9-2 Yanks.
LeMahieu 3 hits, 2 HR (17), 4 RBI .338 leads majors
Encarnacion 3 hits, 2 RBI HBP late in game—scary.
Urshela 2 hits, .314 great defensive play
Gardner 3 hits, 2 RBI
German (W, 14-2, 3.98) 7 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 0 W, 7 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Holder 2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 3 K. 6.28
And, very importantly, German saved the bullpen (save for Holder) for Game 2 of the DH. Chad Green will be the “opener.” The 26th man for the Yanks in the DH is P Chance Adams.