NEW YORK -- Through a half-season in the dugout, there has seemed to be only one topic that prompts Aaron Boone to lose his cool touch and throw his hands up in exasperation. The Bronx Bombers will not always have to rely on home runs to win, he insists, but
NEW YORK -- Through a half-season in the dugout, there has seemed to be only one topic that prompts Aaron Boone to lose his cool touch and throw his hands up in exasperation. The Bronx Bombers will not always have to rely on home runs to win, he insists, but on nights like this they sure do help the cause.
Red-hot Aaron Hicks hit his fifth homer in seven games, Kyle Higashioka cracked his second in the big leagues and Giancarlo Stanton added a late blast, helping the Yankees outlast the Braves for an 8-5 victory Tuesday evening at Yankee Stadium.
"Just keep fighting," Stanton said. "We all contributed. That's how it's going to be, and that's what we need."
Hicks belted a two-run shot in the first inning and Higashioka hit a solo drive in the second inning off Atlanta starter Sean Newcomb, who lasted just 2 2/3 innings as his control evaporated. New York scored twice without a hit in the third inning, working five walks, including bases-loaded free passes to Brandon Drury and Higashioka.
A run-scoring wild pitch by Luke Jackson in the fourth allowed Brett Gardner to race home with what seemed to give the Yankees a comfortable six-run cushion, but the Braves swung back against starter Domingo German, who permitted three runs and six hits over 4 1/3 innings.
"We're obviously capable of those nights where we have a big night and can run away from a team, but we've seen time and time again that we can scratch and claw our way," Boone said. "I think the one thing about this club that they've shown through the first 80-plus games is that we've shown an ability to win games in a lot of different ways."
Ender Inciarte and Ozzie Albies homered on consecutive pitches in the fifth, with Inciarte lifting a two-run shot, and German was out of the game two batters later. Appearing in his first big league game since June 19, A.J. Cole extinguished the blaze, striking out three around a walk and an infield hit.
"I like to show my team that I can be there for them, at any time," Cole said. "I love those situations."
Nick Markakis drew the Braves within a run in the seventh, mashing a two-run homer off Adam Warren that struck the top of the right-field wall and bounced into the seats. Stanton slammed into the wall as he pursued Markakis' drive, prompting a visit from an athletic trainer, who asked Stanton the inning, the number of outs and the day of the week.
"I didn't know any of them," Stanton said, with a laugh.
Chasen Shreve entered and recorded two key outs in the eighth before Stanton launched a two-run shot to right field off Evan Phillips in the home half of the frame. Pitching for a third consecutive game, Albertin Chapman retired the side in the ninth for his 24th save.
"I think we're just driven. We want to win," Shreve said. "We don't ever give up. That's kind of hard to find, honestly, with these types of games. I think we're never going to give up. We want to be back where we were last year, and even further."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Shreve has been searching for consistency, allowing 10 runs in 11 innings (8.18 ERA) over his last 12 appearances prior to Tuesday, but Boone turned to the left-hander in the eighth with Dellin Betances, Chad Green and Player Page for David Robertson all fatigued. Shreve responded, pitching out of a two-on, one-out jam by striking out Inciarte on a 2-2 splitter and getting Albies to pound another splitter to third base.
"We know he's capable of that when he's right," Boone said. "That's a tough spot, coming in for Inciarte and Albies with the game on the line, tying run on, go-ahead run on, and to make pitches to some good hitters in that spot -- that was big. We've seen him do that before. Tonight we really needed him with a couple of guys down and he came through big for us."
With Hicks hitting his 15th homer, the Yankees now have five players with at least 15 homers prior to the All-Star break for the first time in franchise history. (Aaron Judge 23, Stanton 20, Didi Gregorius 15 and Gleyber Torres 15.)
HE SAID IT
"People asked me about it a lot, so I decided to wear it tonight. I won't wear it every night. I'll mix it in, though." -- Boone, on why he chose Game No. 83 to wear his pinstriped uniform top for the first time
The Yankees and Braves will conclude their three-game Interleague series Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET, as left-hander Carsten Sabathia (5-3, 3.02 ERA) draws the Independence Day start for New York. Sabathia is coming off a winning effort over the Red Sox in which he permitted just a run and six hits over seven innings, improving to 3-1 with a 2.54 ERA in nine starts at Yankee Stadium this year. Right-hander Julio Teheran (6-5, 4.21 ERA) will get the ball for Atlanta.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.