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Papa's 21st HR leads Yanks past O's in matinee

August 25, 2018

BALTIMORE -- Miguel Andujar (Papa) continued to build upon his impressive candidacy in the American League Rookie of the Year chase and J.A. Happ (Happer) won his fifth consecutive start since switching uniforms, leading the Yankees to a 10-3 victory over the Orioles on Saturday afternoon in the first game

BALTIMORE -- Miguel Andujar (Papa) continued to build upon his impressive candidacy in the American League Rookie of the Year chase and J.A. Happ (Happer) won his fifth consecutive start since switching uniforms, leading the Yankees to a 10-3 victory over the Orioles on Saturday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader at Camden Yards.
Andujar hit a three-run home run off Jimmy Yacabonis (Yac) that highlighted a four-run third inning and Brett Gardner added a two-run shot in the fourth off Ryan Meisinger (Meis), powering the Bombers to their sixth win in seven games. Andujar's homer was his 21st, tying the Braves' Ronald Acuna Jr. for the most among big league rookies.
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"There are more important things, right now, overall," Andujar said through an interpreter. "For us, it's very important to win games. We have a bigger goal in mind -- so that's the focus, right now. At the end of it all, if it happens, it happens. But we're trying to accomplish something bigger here than individual [awards]."
Happ limited the Orioles to a Renato Nunez (Tato) two-run single among five hits, striking out nine with a walk over six innings of two-run ball. The left-hander became the first Yankees pitcher to win his first five starts for the club since Rob Gardner in 1970-72 -- improving to 5-0 with a 2.37 ERA since being acquired from the Blue Jays on July 26.
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"Having that ability to continuously be aggressive and know that we're going to get on the board, that's a good feeling," Happ said. "I'm just trying to continue to pound the strike zone."
Aaron Hicks (Hicksie) also collected an RBI off Yacabonis, who was charged with six runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings. Giancarlo Stanton (G) was robbed of what would have been his 300th career homer on a leaping catch by center fielder Cedric Mullins (The Entertainer) in the sixth inning.
Gleyber Torres (GT) padded the Yankees' lead with his 19th homer in the eighth, a solo shot off Sean Gilmartin (Gilly). Hicks added a solo shot, his 21st, in the ninth off Mike Wright Jr. (Bird).

"[Friday] was a frustrating day, but you come back [on Saturday] and stuff starts dropping for you," Hicks said. "It always feels good."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Happ was one batter away from sparking activity in the bullpen, as he labored through the second inning -- frustrated by Nunez's two-run single down the left-field line. Happ allowed another hit before escaping the inning, beginning a string in which he retired 14 of the final 17 men he faced.

"The key for me, in general, is getting strike one -- and I think I was pretty good at that today, especially as the game went on," Happ said. "Mixing up pitches there is always the key to getting ahead in the count to put them on the defensive."
HE SAID IT
"I think we're going to continue over time to see the power continue to come, but he's the total package as a hitter, man. He's really talented. He's got the skill set to be a great hitter, but he's also got a good head on his shoulders." -- Boone, on Andujar

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