Sánchez slam lifts Yanks over Giants 6-4 for 10th win in 12
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gary Sánchez spent the past few days tinkering at the plate trying to get his swing right after spending nearly two weeks recovering from a strained left calf. When he connected for one of the longest home runs of his career, Sánchez smacked his hands together emphatically, confident that he’s getting close.
Sánchez hit his first career grand slam in a five-run fifth inning for his first hit since coming off the injured list, and New York beat the San Francisco Giants 6-4 on Saturday for its 10th win in 12 games.
“The past couple games I’ve had, I’ve been off at the plate,” Sanchez said through a translator. “When you’re able to connect like that, you’re going to feel happy and show some emotions.”
Sánchez had been 0 for 9 with seven strikeouts since returning Wednesday. His batting average down to .220, he crushed a high sinker from Derek Holland (1-4). The ball left the bat 111 mph and traveled 467 feet into the left-field seats, nearly clearing the bleachers and giving New York a 6-0 lead. Sanchez has seven home runs and 15 RBIs.
“That’s one that kind of sucks the life out of the building,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I have to walk down the steps and let out a yell because that fires you up, when you see one of our dudes really step on one. I enjoy that.”
Happ scored on Sánchez’s home run after reaching base when he bunted into a forceout.
“I was at third base and I felt like he was going to maybe hit one foul through my chest at about 110 mph,” Happ said.
Happ (1-2) had his best outing this season, allowing five hits in seven scoreless innings and mixing 37 changeups with 38 fastballs among 95 pitches. He ended a streak of seven straight starts in which he allowed a home run.
New York, despite 13 players on the injured list, improved to 5-1 on a nine-game trip and at 16-11 moved a season-high five games over .500.
Sánchez’s slam was a sign that healthy help is finally on the way.
“When you get a chance to bring in four runs, it could be just 300 feet and I’ll take it,” Sánchez said. “The last two swings I felt more confident. That’s what you want. Now we have to try to keep that consistency going.”
Gio Urshela doubled twice and had three hits, and Cameron Maybin singled and scored in his second game with the Yankees. Luke Voit was hit by a pitch to extend his on-base streak to 38 games for the Yankees, the longest active streak in the majors.
San Francisco, which has lost six of nine, was shut out until the ninth, when Yangervis Solarte hit a three-run homer off Luis Cessa and Erik Kratz hit a solo drive. Aroldis Chapman struck out Pablo Sandoval on a checked swing for his fifth save in six chances.
Holland dropped to 1-8 against the Yankees, giving up six runs, six hits and three walks in five innings.
“This is on me,” Holland said. “The big thing is that I just lit one side of the plate more than I have in the past. The pitch to Sánchez, I looked at the video and it was in a good spot. Obviously he was waiting for it.”
DJ LeMahieu hit an RBI single in the third, and Voit was nicked on the right knee by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fifth.
Voit’s streak of reach base is the second-longest by a Yankees player since the start of 2005. Three-time All-Star Mark Teixeira had a 42-game streak from June 6 to July 26, 2010.
San Francisco left fielder Tyler Austin made a stellar throw in the eighth inning to get Gleyber Torres trying to stretch a leadoff double into a triple. The ball sailed over Austin and ricocheted off the wall before Austin made a perfect throw to third baseman Evan Longoria. The Giants lead the majors with 10 outfield assists.
Yankees: OF Clint Frazier (left ankle sprain) played catch on the field before the game. Manager Aaron Boone thinks Frazier could return within two weeks. … CF Aaron Hicks (back strain) could take face pitching next week. … Miguel Andújar (torn labrum in right shoulder) went 3 for 3 as a designated hitter in extended spring training. Andújar will have Sunday off then play third base in another extended spring training game Monday.
Giants: OF Steven Duggar was held out of the lineup after injuring his right wrist stumbling over the bullpen mound near right field a day earlier. He was scheduled to have X-rays late Saturday and will likely to sit out of Sunday’s game also.
Yankees RHP Domingo Germán (4-1, 1.75 ERA) faces the Giants for the first time in his career in the series finale Sunday. Germán already has more wins than he did over the previous two seasons combined. LHP Dereck Rodriguez (3-2) pitches for San Francisco in his second interleague start.