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Sanchez (2 HRs) leads Yankees' rout of Tigers

MLB.com

DETROIT -- Gary Sanchez's tape-measure home run -- the first of two homers by the catcher -- ignited a Yankees onslaught on Matthew Boyd and the Tigers' bullpen, supporting seven quality innings from Masahiro Tanaka in his return from the disabled list for a 13-4 New York victory Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

The win moved the Yankees back to 10 games over .500 and still in firm control of the first American League Wild Card spot, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Twins.

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DETROIT -- Gary Sanchez's tape-measure home run -- the first of two homers by the catcher -- ignited a Yankees onslaught on Matthew Boyd and the Tigers' bullpen, supporting seven quality innings from Masahiro Tanaka in his return from the disabled list for a 13-4 New York victory Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

The win moved the Yankees back to 10 games over .500 and still in firm control of the first American League Wild Card spot, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Twins.

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Sanchez, moved up to the third spot in the order by manager Joe Girardi, fueled a three-run opening inning with his 24th home run of the year. By the time Todd Frazier tripled in two runs in the third, the Yankees had a 6-0 lead and had chased Boyd (5-7). Aaron Hicks added a two-run homer in the seventh before Sanchez struck again with an opposite-field homer off Jeff Ferrell in the ninth.

Video: NYY@DET: Hicks mashes a two-run homer to right field

With 11 of the Yankees' 19 August games being decided by two runs or fewer, Girardi said it was nice to have a blowout win where the lead always felt comfortable.

"This was nice," Girardi said. "To be able to get a lead and continue to build on it and get 3-0 and then to 7-0 and continue to build on, and just continue to add on, real nice."

Tanaka (9-10), who missed his last turn in the Yankees' rotation due to right shoulder inflammation, showed the benefit of rest as he cruised through the Tigers' lineup for much of the evening. He held Detroit to a run on three hits before Nicholas Castellanos' 17th home run of the season tacked on two in the seventh. Castellanos added an inside-the-park home run in the ninth.

Video: NYY@DET: Statcast™ measures Castellanos rounding bases

"I think it's important to get him back out there and have some success," Girardi said. "He did a good job of keeping his pitch count and we didn't have to work him too hard."

Girardi was happy with Tanaka's velocity, as well as the sharpness of his slider -- save a couple mistakes towards the end of his outing, including Castellanos' home run -- two things the manager said he would be looking for entering the night as signs of improvement.

Video: NYY@DET: Tanaka fans four over seven strong innings

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Sanchez sets the tone: The Yankees jumped all over Boyd early, thanks to Sanchez's first-inning blast. He took a 2-1 changeup and sent it 493 feet to left field, according to Statcast™. It was the fourth-longest home run in the Majors since 2015 and was the longest recorded homer at Comerica Park in that span. The catcher's home run was also the second longest by any player this season, behind only teammate Aaron Judge's 495-foot homer on June 11.

Video: NYY@DET: Statcast™ measures Sanchez's 493-foot homer

"When I hit that ball, I knew I hit it hard," Sanchez said. "But I had no clue it went that far -- 493 feet is very far." More >

Judge breaks through: Judge drove in a run with a two-out single in the fifth inning, giving the Yankees a 9-1 lead. That capped a successful day for the slugger -- who had walked in each of his first three plate appearances -- and snapped his Major League record of 37 consecutive games with a strikeout. Judge had gone 1-for-16 with no RBIs in his previous four games.

Video: NYY@DET: Judge halts strikeout streak at 37 games

With an 11-1 lead, Girardi pinch-hit Jacoby Ellsbury for Judge in the seventh inning, effectively ending the streak. Judge said he didn't think about the streak while it was ongoing, and he didn't think much about Girardi's decision to pull him on Tuesday either.

"I'm just a player," the rookie said. "I've got to go out there and play. I'm not the one making decisions, so if they want to take me out at that time, I guess they've got to take me out." More >

QUOTABLE
"I think I've still got him by two feet." -- Judge, on Sanchez coming within two feet of his 495-foot homer, longest by any player this season

"There are some guys that need to show that they can perform consistently at the Major League level that are here right now. At some point, there's an expiration date on how much rope you're given. I don't want to act like I'm putting pressure on people, but hey, this is the big leagues. If you want to pitch in the big leagues, you've gotta throw strikes, you've gotta get outs, and you have to do it somewhat consistently. You give young guys some room to grow and learn, but it can't last forever." -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, on the Tigers' young pitchers, including Boyd and the relievers

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
According to research from STATS, Castellanos became the first Tigers player to hit an over-the-fence and inside-the-park home run in the same game since Carlos Guillen did it on May 31, 2004.

Video: NYY@DET: Castellanos clubs two-run HR to right field

WHAT'S NEXT
Yankees: Luis Severino (10-5, 3.18) gets the ball in the middle game of the three-game series in Detroit on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Severino has a 0.67 ERA in his last four road starts, including 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Mets in his last outing.

Tigers: Jordan Zimmermann (7-10, 5.87) starts the second game of this series looking to build on his last meeting against the Yankees three weeks ago. He tossed seven scoreless innings with six strikeouts at Yankee Stadium in a 2-0 win. He's 0-2 with a 9.77 ERA in three starts since then.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.

Kyle Beery is a contributor for MLB.com based in Detroit who covered the Yankees on Tuesday.