KANSAS CITY -- With his inside-the-park homer in the third inning of an 8-3 win over the Royals on Saturday, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks joined some elite company.It marked the second inside-the-park homer for Hicks this season. He also accomplished the feat on April 13 at Detroit. Hicks is the
KANSAS CITY -- With his inside-the-park homer in the third inning of an 8-3 win over the Royals on Saturday, Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks joined some elite company.
It marked the second inside-the-park homer for Hicks this season. He also accomplished the feat on April 13 at Detroit. Hicks is the first Yankee to hit multiple inside-the-park homers in a season since Mickey Mantle hit three in 1958.
Hicks drove a pitch from Royals starter Danny Duffy off the top of the wall in right field. Jorge Soler tumbled to the ground after a leaping attempt to catch the ball and it caromed toward right-center as Hicks circled the bases. It was the 108th all-time inside-the-park homer at Kauffman Stadium. The last player to do it here was Jarrod Dyson in July 2015.
Hicks, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, said he thought his drive to right might get over the wall.
"I thought the trajectory was right. Just a little short," he said. "It's nice to have that [inside-the-park homers]. When you are running around the bases, that's really enjoyable. Any time you hear your name mentioned with Mickey Mantle, it means you are doing something right."
Soler took the blame for not making the catch.
"I probably shouldn't have gotten so close to the warning track. Instead, I should have waited for it to hit the fence or see if it went out," he said. "I chased the ball and couldn't get it. It bounced. Just too late. I thought I could catch it."
Hicks' home run was one of five for the Yankees, who will go for their eighth straight series win on Sunday. The big blow was a go-ahead three-run homer by Gleyber Torres that put the Yanks up 5-2 in the fourth. Torres, who had a rough night defensively in the series opener, atoned in a big way.
"All-in-all, a good bounce-back night for us," manager Aaron Boone said. "[Gleyber] had a tough night [on Friday], but he doesn't flinch. He plays the game with a lot of confidence and is really good at it. So, I don't worry about him at all."
The Yankees tacked on late with two homers from Gary Sanchez and another by Giancarlo Stanton on what was the 500th extra-base hit of his career.
Sanchez, who now has 10 multi-homer games, including three this season, leads the club with 12 homers.
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com based in Kansas City.