Yankees Plaster Price Again, Forcing Tie for First in AL East
Aaron Hicks hit three home runs and the New York Yankees pummeled David Price again, connecting five times in the first four innings Sunday night on the way to an 11-1 rout of the Boston Red Sox.
Luis Severino became the first 13-game winner in the majors, cruising through 6 2/3 shutout innings of two-hit ball after the Bronx Bombers quickly built him a big cushion. With the teams trading blowouts all weekend, the Yankees (54-27) took two of three from their longtime rivals to regain baseball’s best record and first place in the AL East. Batting leadoff against a left-hander, Hicks homered twice from the right side of the plate and once from the left. He smacked a two-run shot to right field in the second inning and a solo drive to center in the fourth that chased Price (9-6) and made it 8-0.
Hicks pulled his 14th of the season into the right-field stands in the eighth off Hector Velazquez. It was the first three-homer game by a Yankees player since Alex Rodriguez, part of the ESPN broadcast team Sunday night, accomplished the feat at Minnesota in July 2015.
It was the fifth career multihomer game for Hicks and second this season. The only other Yankees hitter to go deep three times at the current Yankee Stadium was Curtis Granderson in April 2012 against the Twins.
Aaron Judge homered, had three hits and scored three times for New York. Rookie phenom Gleyber Torres launched a three-run shot that gave New York a 4-0 lead in the first, and the Yankees finished with a season-high six homers to boost their major league-leading total to 137. Exactly halfway through the season, New York is on pace to surpass the 1997 Seattle Mariners’ record of 264 homers. Third-string catcher Kyle Higashioka homered into the second deck in left field off Price for his first major league hit after an 0-for-22 start to his career. Higashioka, wearing No. 66 in pinstripes, received the silent treatment when he returned to the dugout before happy teammates finally engulfed him.
Price was rocked for nine hits and a career-high eight earned runs in 3 1/3 innings, his latest flop against the Yankees since signing a $217 million, seven-year contract with Boston before the 2016 season. He had never given up more than three home runs in a game.
Severino (13-2), who began the night with the lowest ERA in the AL at 2.10, improved to 8-0 at home this season. He walked off to a standing ovation from the crowd and tipped his cap, right on track to become the first Yankees pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Roger Clemens in 2001. Boston (56-29) managed only four hits and didn’t score until the ninth.
New York leads the season series 5-4. The next time the teams meet is Aug. 2-5 at Fenway Park.
The only other time Hicks homered from both sides of the plate came against Tampa Bay in April 2017.
Red Sox: Right-handed reliever Tyler Thornburg is expected back this week after rehabbing from surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last June. Yankees: Higashioka started at catcher for Austin Romine, who exited Saturday’s game with tightness in his left hamstring. A precautionary MRI was negative, and Romine was available off the bench if needed. He could return to the lineup Monday night against Atlanta. Romine has been filling in for All-Star backstop Gary Sanchez (groin), who might be able to come off the disabled list right after the All-Star break July 20-22 against the Mets. … GM Brian Cashman said if everything goes well, RHP Masahiro Tanaka (two strained hamstrings) will make a minor league rehab start this week and rejoin the Yankees early next week in Baltimore _ perhaps in time to pitch in a July 9 doubleheader. ROSTER MOVE
New York called up RHP David Hale from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. UP NEXT
Red Sox: Three interleague games at Washington, where RHP Rick Porcello (9-3, 3.60 ERA) faces former Detroit teammate Max Scherzer (10-4, 2.04) in a matchup of the 2016 Cy Young Award winners Monday night. With no DH in the National League park, manager Alex Cora said slugger J.D. Martinez will probably start two games in the outfield. Same for CF Jackie Bradley Jr. and LF Andrew Benintendi as they rotate.
Yankees: Rookie RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (2-0, 1.93 ERA) makes his fourth major league start against RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-2, 2.68) and the Braves, surprise leaders in the NL East. Loaisiga carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning last Monday at Philadelphia.