NEW YORK -- The Yankees have compiled the best winning percentage in the Majors, even with Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez having yet to catch the hot streak that both believe is still around the corner. Imagine what their run production might look like then.Stanton and Sanchez gave the Bronx
NEW YORK -- The Yankees have compiled the best winning percentage in the Majors, even with Giancarlo Stanton and Gary Sanchez having yet to catch the hot streak that both believe is still around the corner. Imagine what their run production might look like then.
Stanton and Sanchez gave the Bronx Bombers a glimpse of that potential in the fifth inning of the Yankees' 4-1 victory on Saturday, mashing back-to-back homers off left-hander Ryan Yarbrough to open a four-run lead over the Rays.
"We've had timely hits, big hits, guys step up -- [and] we haven't all clicked at the same time," Stanton said. "Once that happens and we're on all cylinders, there's more room to get better."
The homer was Stanton's 16th, coming off his bat at 103.6 mph and traveling 401 feet to left field, according to Statcast™. It was Stanton's first Yankee Stadium homer since May 13 against the Athletics, with his past five homers coming on the road.
"When you don't contribute every night and you're able to knock out series, knock out wins over and over again, it helps," Stanton said. "It makes this long stretch much better."
Sanchez entered Saturday with just five hits in his past 59 at-bats (.085), but that included a three-run double in Friday's 5-0 victory over the Rays. He followed Stanton's shot with his 13th homer, a blast to center field that came off the bat at 104.6 mph and traveled 400 feet.
"He's in strong position and that's the one he's kind of been missing these last few weeks," manager Aaron Boone said. "I'm sure he's frustrated, but he continued to battle through there and obviously added a big insurance run there with a long one straight away."
Sanchez hadn't homered since going deep twice on May 19 at Kansas City, a career-long 18-game homerless streak that spanned 66 at-bats. Sanchez said the Yankees' success helped relieve some of the pressure he would otherwise have expected to feel.
"That's what happens when you have a good team and good guys around you," Sanchez said through an interpreter. "Sometimes you're going to have a player or two going through a rough time and you need everybody else to help out. … But that's what baseball is about, up and down. The good thing is we're winning games, and at the end that's the ultimate goal."
It was the fifth time the Yankees have hit consecutive homers this season, and the first since Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge opened the game with homers on May 26 against the Angels.
Judge hopes that Saturday's back-to-back power display is a preview for what is still yet to come once Stanton and Sanchez are clicking as expected.
"It's going to be impressive," Judge said. "It's going to be a lot of fun. We've kind of dipped into it every now and then. Once it starts heating up a little bit and guys start coming around, it's going to be a fun summer."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.