In honor of the first Sunday of football, the Yankees scored a touchdown in the second half en route to a second straight win.
The seven-stroke frame, fueled by three of four runs a day, sent the Yankees to a 10-4 victory over the Rays that secured a major series win in the Bronx.
Gleyber Torres went deep twice, netted Giancarlo Stanton for the second game in a row and Oswaldo Cabrera made his first career home run to create plenty of breathing space on a day when the Yankees compiled a Bullpen.
“Really good,” Torres said. “I think all boys, we really felt good on every hit. In the past, we weren’t really good at attacking, but now we’ve shown what we can do every time we’re together. Everyone is on the same page now.”
After a rough opening streak Friday night, the Yankees (85-56) returned to take the three-game set and push the AL East’s lead over the Rays (78-60) back to 5 games with 21 games.
For only the second time this season, coach Aaron Boone used the same batting order for the second game in a row – with Aaron Judge and Stanton batting first and second. The squad was still missing a handful of regulars, but it picked up where it left off on Saturday, as in the two games, the Yankees stacked for 20 innings on 23 strokes.
Prior to those two games, the Rays had held the Yankees 19 times during their previous eight meetings.
“The compelling way they did it,” Boone said when asked what impressed him most about his team’s response. “Obviously the offense has been huge both days here. … just a really good couple of days for us on the way to the day off. To get more players back in the mix and the squad is huge. Hopefully that continues as we go.”
After rain delayed the start of the match by almost two hours, Domingo Germain took El Koum into a short break and delivered a goalless lead across 14 stadiums. This proved to be his first act as the Yankees went into the center of attention as Lucas Lutgue started the second half.
That started a show of painkillers to get through the remainder of the game, with the Yankees using eight shooters total to keep the Rays in check.
A day after starting the bottom of the first with seven consecutive singles, the Yankees got more frugal on Sunday. After a single judge win and Stanton walked away, Torres crushed Homer in three runs to leave the field outside Luis Patiño to advance 3-0.
After the Rays returned to the top of the second half off Luetge, Patiño started the bottom of the half by walking Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Kyle Higashioka before Marwin Gonzalez singled out to load the bases. Then the judge came in and hit the sacrifice fly to make it 4-1 before the show of strength started in gear.
Stanton hit three runs, a blast in the opposite field – his second home in as many days – and made Torres back-to-back with Homer’s second on most hitters to put the Yankees 8-1 ahead.
Patiño then walked in with Josh Donaldson, his fourth free pass in the game, to finish his day after 1¹/ of innings. Rays’ right-handed young man threw 70 shots and went to full counts in seven of the 13 hits he faced.
Cabrera greeted loyal Calvin Foucher with a two-run Homer smash into the right midfield. The Novice’s first home race traveled an estimated 408 feet and extended the Yankees’ lead to 10-1.
“I feel so good,” Cabrera said, who got the ball back and planned to give it to his sister-in-law’s family that had become like a second family to him. “I feel really excited about it. It feels great.”