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Hicks opens game with 3rd career leadoff HR

Center fielder goes deep on 3rd pitch, makes leaping grab in 8th
MLB.com @BryanHoch

PHILADELPHIA -- You will never hear Aaron Hicks complain about seeing his name in the leadoff spot. With results like this, the Yankees won't, either.

Hicks got the Bronx Bombers' offense off to a quick start in Tuesday night's 6-0 victory over the Phillies, slugging Jake Arrieta's third pitch over the center-field fence. It was Hicks' third career leadoff homer and the Yankees' third of the year, with the other two having been hit by Brett Gardner.

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PHILADELPHIA -- You will never hear Aaron Hicks complain about seeing his name in the leadoff spot. With results like this, the Yankees won't, either.

Hicks got the Bronx Bombers' offense off to a quick start in Tuesday night's 6-0 victory over the Phillies, slugging Jake Arrieta's third pitch over the center-field fence. It was Hicks' third career leadoff homer and the Yankees' third of the year, with the other two having been hit by Brett Gardner.

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"I like leading off," Hicks said. "Whenever you hit in front of guys that have hit 20 home runs, they'd rather face you than face those guys. Of course it's fun."

Supporting Luis Severino en route to his Major League-leading 12th win, Hicks added a fourth-inning sacrifice fly as part of a 2-for-4 performance. In Hicks' last nine games, he is 11-for-36 (.306) with eight runs scored, two doubles, four homers, seven RBIs and three walks.

Video: NYY@PHI: Hicks plates Romine ion a sac fly in the 4th

"He's been swinging really good from both sides of the plate," manager Aaron Boone said. "To go out the front door like that and start the game, really get us going, he always does a really nice job of controlling the strike zone.

"I don't think he's talked about quite enough about being a really good player and a player who's really important to this team."

The Yankees pounced on Arrieta for three more runs in the third inning, with Gleyber Torres lacing a two-run single and Greg Bird snapping an 0-for-15 skid with a run-scoring hit.

Video: NYY@PHI: Yankees on Severino's dominance, strong win

That productive frame was set up by one-out singles off the bats of Hicks and Aaron Judge, plus an error by second baseman Cesar Hernandez on a Didi Gregorius grounder that loaded the bases. After a strikeout, Torres chased home Hicks and Judge with a ground ball to left field.

Bird followed with a line drive that found turf in left field to cash the fourth run. Gregorius wrapped scoring with a fifth-inning shot off Arrieta, who permitted six runs (three earned) and nine hits over five innings.

"We're able to come up big in big situations," Hicks said. "Being able to have the whole lineup come together, whenever we've got opportunities, [we] take advantage of them."

Video: NYY@PHI: Sevy, Didi, Hicks, Torres contribute in win

As much as Hicks enjoyed his productive night at the plate, he boarded the team bus most pleased with an impressive leaping grab at the wall to steal a hit from Rhys Hoskins in the eighth inning.

"It just seems better when you can help someone on your team out," Hicks said.

Video: NYY@PHI: Hicks rises to make a phenomenal grab

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks