NEW YORK -- Gary Sánchez aside, it hasn't been easy going for the other Baby Bombers since their August debuts, but in the Yankees' series opener against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Tyler Austin came through.In his first taste of the rivalry at Yankee Stadium -- after
NEW YORK -- Gary Sánchez aside, it hasn't been easy going for the other Baby Bombers since their August debuts, but in the Yankees' series opener against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Tyler Austin came through.
In his first taste of the rivalry at Yankee Stadium -- after making two appearances at Fenway Park earlier this month -- Austin knocked the go-ahead two-run homer to right field off David Price in the seventh inning, propelling the Yankees to a 6-4 win.
"It was unbelievable. When you get a chance to play against the Red Sox like that in that rivalry, it's fun, and you want to take in every moment you can," Austin said.
Austin's homer capped a 3-for-3 night for the rookie, who had started just two games, with seven plate appearances, on the Yankees' latest road trip. He helped keep Boston's potential clinch of the American League East on ice for at least one more day, their magic number still at 1.
"Obviously another big home run," manager Joe Girardi said. "His home runs have been big for us, the four that he has hit."
All four of Austin's career home runs have been at Yankee Stadium, and all have given the Yankees a lead. Before Tuesday's, there was a walk-off against the Rays on Sept. 8; a go-ahead seventh-inning shot against the Blue Jays on Sept. 6; and his first career homer in his first career at-bat on Aug. 13, which opened the scoring against Tampa Bay.
On Tuesday, Boston had just tied the score at 4 in the top of the seventh when Austin came up with a runner on and no outs in the bottom half. Price's first pitch, a fastball on the inside edge, Austin fouled off. The second pitch, another heater farther in off the plate, Austin couldn't catch up to. Ahead 0-2, Price went back to his fastball -- an attacking strategy he has employed often over his career -- and Austin parked the pitch, also on the inner third, into the right-field seats.
"The 0-1 fastball, he blew it right by me," Austin said. "So I was just trying to stay short and hoping he threw something similar to that again."
Austin's four homers have all been to the opposite field. Austin said after Tuesday's game, as he has before, that that is his goal. It is perhaps well-suited to playing his home games at Yankee Stadium, with its short porch, where Austin's homer landed Tuesday.
"My approach is over that way, and I try to drive the ball that way, so I don't think there's any coincidence," Austin said.
David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.