Confident Yanks sweep Twins in '24, win 8th straight game

June 7th, 2024

NEW YORK -- Death, taxes and streaks being made to end: Those seem to be the only three certainties in life. And on Thursday night in the Bronx, a number of Yankees players entered the series finale against the Twins with impressive streaks on the line. A rotation’s stretch of brilliance, a pair of table-setters being the model of consistency and the franchise’s dominance over its midwestern rivals made the evening that much more intriguing for stat-watchers.

But the most important streak, if you ask each of the Yankees’ players, was the seven-game win streak that was on the line. After a 56-minute rain delay -- and some major contributions from the likes of Trent Grisham and Gleyber Torres -- New York held off the Twins, 8-5, securing a season-high eighth straight victory. It’s the team’s longest win streak since winning nine straight games from June 6-18, 2022.

“I feel like we’re a pretty confident group within the clubhouse,” starter Marcus Stroman said. “I feel like you have such great personalities and guys who, like I said, are authentically very confident in themselves. And when you put all this together, it just creates a great environment. So I feel like when we go out, we expect to win.”

The win also improved the Yankees’ record to 6-0 against Minnesota this season, marking the ninth time in franchise history that New York has gone 6-0 or better against an opponent in one season. It also is the fourth time that the Yankees have completed this feat against the Twins.

The evening almost went sideways from the outset after Stroman, who allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings and snapped the rotation’s 22 consecutive starts of allowing three runs or fewer, yielded a solo home run to Carlos Correa in the first inning. The opening salvo was a foreboding sign for Stroman, who never really got into a rhythm against the Twins.

“It was a tough one for sure. I just felt like my ‘feel’ was off,” Stroman said. “Struggling to get a grip a little bit, but yeah, they put together some great ABs. I didn’t execute when I needed to, but luckily we were able to keep the game where it was at. And the offense has been incredible. The bullpen was incredible as well.”

The Yankees’ offensive outburst was ignited by Grisham after he crushed a two-run blast on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the second. Grisham’s home run was just his third hit of the season, and his first hit since April 29 vs. the Orioles. Making just his first start since May 2, the smooth center fielder rewarded manager Aaron Boone’s trust with an instant impact.

“Just fired up for Grish,” Boone said. “Obviously hasn’t gotten the playing time that he’s used to as an everyday player in this league. We fall behind there, 1-0, and he answers there in that second [inning] with the two-run stop to grab us the lead -- just missed another one with the sac fly. Three RBIs on the board, and what he’s able to do in center, so excited for him to really have a big hand in this victory.”

The Yankees continued to put traffic on the basepaths in each of the following innings. After Juan Soto, Aaron Judge (who extended his on-base streak to 32 games) and Giancarlo Stanton each walked in the bottom of the third, Torres delivered a two-run double and Austin Wells added a sac fly to give the Yankees a 5-2 lead. Then in the fourth, Anthony Volpe kicked off a two-run frame with an infield single, coming around after catcher Christian Vázquez’s throwing error allowed him to score on a stolen base. Volpe also extended his on-base streak to 32 games, matching his captain’s mark.

Minnesota threatened in the fifth frame, plating three runs and chasing Stroman from the game. The Yankees responded right back, as Grisham delivered a sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning, pushing their lead back up to 3. The post-rain delay action was painless, as the bullpen delivered a scoreless final four innings, with Clay Holmes earning his 18th save of the season.

While much of the fanfare surrounding the Yankees’ eight-game win streak has (rightly) focused on their biggest stars at the top of the order, Thursday’s victory was delivered to New York’s doorstep by its unheralded contributors. Batters six through nine in the lineup accounted for six of the team’s seven RBIs, showcasing the type of complete win that managers and fans beam about.

And with Soto’s immediate future laced with uncertainty after being pulled in the sixth inning, New York will welcome any contributions that lengthen its lineup, no matter who it comes from.

“That sets up the big guys even more, when you’re able to have length in the lineup,” Boone said. “When you become a really good offense, it takes the middle and the bottom of the order doing their thing too.”