MLB

Yankees score 11 runs, beat Rockies without homer

NEW YORK — It’s no secret that the Yankees’ high-powered offense has relied on the long ball. They are fifth in the Majors with 162 home runs — their highest total through 97 games in club history — and they have homered in all but 14 games this season, posting

NEW YORK — It’s no secret that the Yankees’ high-powered offense has relied on the long ball. They are fifth in the Majors with 162 home runs — their highest total through 97 games in club history — and they have homered in all but 14 games this season, posting a 5-9 record in them.

Saturday marked the 15th time the ball didn’t leave the yard. Perhaps surprisingly, then, the Yankees didn’t seem to need one of their signature Bronx Bombs, managing a double-digit scoreline in an 11-5 win over the Rockies at Yankee Stadium.

Box score

“We can do it without a homer,” said Austin Romine, who went 2-for-5 with an RBI. “Everybody likes to think we’re the Bombers, but this team’s been doing it here and there without home runs. And it just shows you that we can keep the line moving, get base hits when we need to, move guys when we need to, and we’re just playing baseball.”

With a game to spare, the Yankees improved to 14-0-1 in their past 15 home series — their second-longest unbeaten-series streak at the current Yankee Stadium, behind a 17-series run from April to August of last year. The most recent time the Yanks scored 10-plus runs without a homer, coincidentally, came during that stretch, in an 11-1 victory over the Angels on April 28, 2018.

A pair of big innings Saturday — a five-spot in the second and a three-run fourth — showcased how the Yanks’ scorching offense is anything but one-dimensional. With an excessive heat warning in effect across the city and a heat index of up to 110 degrees, the Yankees chased Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela out of the game after just 1 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs and recorded just four outs.

Didi Gregorius led off the second with a double that rolled all the way to the left-field corner, and Gleyber Torres followed with a single that the Rockies mishandled defensively. Colorado tried to throw out Gregorius at home plate, but he had stopped short rounding third and it was Torres who tried to advance. Senzatela cut off the pass and relayed it to second, but he overthrew his man, allowing Gregorius to score and Torres to end up at third.

Romine produced an RBI single before back-to-back one-out walks loaded the bases for Aaron Hicks, who answered the call with an RBI single of his own to set up a key spot for Edwin Encarnacion.

In the same situation on Friday, Encarnacion hit a grand slam. On Saturday, he made do with a two-run double down the left-field line.

“I think we got some breaks in that inning and took advantage of them,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “And to be able to run out a big lead today on a hot day when I think it was a challenge for everyone — pitchers, hitters — it was important.”

“I [said to myself], ‘I don’t think we’ve hit a homer today to have that many runs.’ It’s just a tribute to guys having quality at-bats up and down the lineup.”

In the fourth, it was more of the same for the Yanks, as they sought to control the strike zone, working to favorable counts and making at-bats difficult for opposing pitchers. Gregorius and Torres recorded run-scoring singles — the latter of which scored Luke Voit, who headed to first after taking a pitch to the face. He stayed in the game before exiting for precautionary reasons.

While the Yankees were kept homerless on the day, the Rockies hit a three-run shot courtesy of Nolan Arenado — part of a five-spot for Colorado off Yanks starter Masahiro Tanaka in the sixth. After containing the Rockies through five economical innings, Tanaka started to lose command of his splitter, and it cost him on that particular pitch.

“His split flattened out in that final inning,” Boone said. “Arenado got him on the split that turned into more of a two-seam fastball up and out over the plate, so I think he just lost the bite on that pitch there. I thought up to that point, it was a really good pitch for him today.”

“It’s been one of those things for him this year that whether it’s been within a game or start-to-start where he has searched for it. Hasn’t been real consistent for him, but also, the day could’ve contributed to it. Just a lot of long innings on the other side in the first half of the game, obviously the heat and everything. So it’s hard to say exactly.”

In their first series after the All-Star break, the Yankees notably hit only one home run in three games. But that turned out to be an anomaly, as their batters knocked 12 long balls, including two grand slams, over their next five games. As Saturday’s victory illustrated, though, there isn’t only one way for the Yanks to win ballgames.

“It’s a really good offense,” said DJ LeMahieu, who went 3-for-4 against his former club. “Offensively, we can hurt you in a lot of ways.”





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