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Voit ends homer drought with 449-foot dinger

Encarnacion hits two-run shot, exits with left oblique tightness
@BryanHoch
September 12, 2019

DETROIT -- Luke Voit homered as part of a three-hit, three-RBI performance and Edwin Encarnacion also cleared the fences before exiting with a left oblique strain as the Yankees defeated the Tigers, 10-4, in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader at Comerica Park. Voit scored three runs, extending a career

DETROIT -- Luke Voit homered as part of a three-hit, three-RBI performance and Edwin Encarnacion also cleared the fences before exiting with a left oblique strain as the Yankees defeated the Tigers, 10-4, in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader at Comerica Park.

Voit scored three runs, extending a career high with his 20th homer, a drive to center field that was calculated at 449 feet by Statcast. It marked Voit's first home run since July 22 in Minnesota, a welcome sign following the slugger's return from a sports hernia.

Box score

"I just think the timing is getting better," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "He does a really good job of creating ground force, in my eyes. I think he's staying in the ground really well, which is something that allows him to hit for the power he does. I feel like his last three or four games, the at-bat quality has started to happen."

Voit's importance to the Yankees' postseason hopes could be impacted by the injury to Encarnacion, who felt tightness in his left oblique on a first inning swing. Encarnacion remained in the game, slugging a two-run shot in the third inning, but he was later lifted for a pinch-hitter.

"We've got too much at stake right now and too great of a team to start at any time feeling sorry for ourselves," Boone said. "Everyone in that room is capable of doing really special things, and that doesn't change. Frankly, I would expect Edwin to be part of that moving forward, too."

The continued injury issues that have dogged the Yankees all season extended to pitcher J.A. Happ, who hurled 4 2/3 innings in a no-decision, then headed back to New York to have his left biceps tendinitis examined by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad.

Happ said that the tendinitis has been bothering him for "three to five starts," which coincides with his best stretch of the season. Happ carried a scoreless innings streak into Thursday's start that was snapped at 19 1/3 frames by Dawel Lugo's two-run homer in the fifth.

"[Pitching] was something I wanted to do," Happ said. "We all talked through it. I voiced my opinion. The fact I've been able to go out there and get some results helped. It's something I have had in the past. I feel like I can manage it. Hopefully, we can just help knock it down a little bit."

Chad Green picked up the victory with 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

The homers hit by Voit and Encarnacion off Tigers starter Matthew Boyd gave the Yankees 278 as a club, once again moving past the Twins (277) for the top spot. The marks both represent new Major League highs, surpassing the 267 hit by the Yanks last year.

Cameron Maybin added a two-run double against his original team, helping New York to its 13th win in 17 games. Didi Gregorius legged out a two-run triple as the Yankees pulled away late.

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