NEW YORK -- Catcher Austin Romine blasted his eighth home run of the season in Tuesday night's 4-1 win at Yankee Stadium, further extending his career high.
After Neil Walker drew a walk to lead off the fifth inning, Romine launched the first pitch of his at-bat against the Rays' Jalen Beeks down the right-field line, keeping it just inside the foul pole for a two-run shot that gave New York a 3-0 lead.
"I knew it was going out, but sometimes when you get over there, being a righty, sometimes they kind of fade," Romine said. "So I was willing it to stay fair. I got lucky today, I guess."
In 611 plate appearances over his first six seasons, Romine had hit seven home runs total. In 199 plate appearances in 2018, he has eight. He has also collected 15 RBIs over his last 21 games started.
Although he has already shown more power this year than in any previous season, he could easily have more blasts on his stat sheet if it weren't for some impressive defensive plays working against him. On Sunday, the Rangers' Joey Gallo robbed him of a solo shot in the eighth inning, and on July 29, Brett Phillips of the Royals took away a potential three-run blast in the fourth inning.
"It makes it a lot better when they don't catch it," Romine said with a chuckle. "That's part of the game. I've been unfortunate. I don't think I had anybody rob a home run from me in my career, and I had two in a week or so. It was tough, but it was nice to get one all the way out today."
Romine's blast was the Yankees' 19th in their last nine games. The team is now on pace to hit 264 for the season, which would tie the MLB record, set by Seattle in 1997.
In his last seven games, Romine is batting .346, with six runs, two homers and six RBIs. Not only has he been hot at the plate, he has thrown out four of six potential basestealers during that span, including Matt Duffy, who reached on a walk in the fourth on Tuesday.
"I felt like I was getting better as the game was going on," starter J.A. Happ said. "Luckily, on the hit and run, 'Ro' threw him out, and we got a double-play ball as well, so a couple big plays to get out of those walks."