Yanks add 4 homers to record month, sweep

Paxton allows 1 hit vs. former team; Judge, Sanchez trading blows

August 29th, 2019

SEATTLE -- It took all of 19 pitches for the Yankees' traveling power show to continue its barrage against West Coast pitching, as tracked the flight of his drive down the left-field line. The pure sensation of ball meeting bat ensured that distance was not going to be an issue.

Sanchez's drive stayed true in fair territory, and the Bombers were only getting started. , and also went deep as the Yankees extended their Major League record for homers in a calendar month, completing a three-game sweep of the Mariners with a 7-3 victory Wednesday at T-Mobile Park.

"We've still got a couple of games to complete the month," said Sanchez, the first catcher to enjoy multiple 30-homer seasons since the Braves' Javy Lopez in 1998 and 2003. "Home runs, they come on their own. That's the kind of team we have. We go out to compete, and we find ourselves hitting homers."

The prominent storyline could have revolved around the matchup of and Justus Sheffield, a pair of left-handers with electric arsenals who were traded for each other by these clubs last November. Instead, the bats stole the show, powering the Yankees to a winning road trip with their 12th sweep of the year.

Considering that the journey began with a three-game sweep at the hands of the Athletics in Oakland, the Yankees earned their happy flight home. New York bounced back to take two of three from the Dodgers in a potential World Series preview, then did not let up off the gas in the Pacific Northwest.

"They’re very resilient and very hungry," manager Aaron Boone said. "For us to take care of business the way we did today after the way we started this trip, to finish off the West Coast, it really says a lot about those guys out there."

After Sanchez's homer landed near the top of the upper deck, Ford slugged his third homer of the series as the Yankees pounded Sheffield for five runs in 4 1/3 frames. Judge remained hot by greeting Matt Wisler with a towering two-run blast in the fifth inning, Judge's fifth in six games.

LeMahieu added a solo shot in the ninth. With two games remaining before the calendar flips to September, the Bombers have now slugged 70 homers in 28 August games, shattering a previous record of 58 shared by the 1987 Orioles and the 1999 Mariners.

"That was what we needed; two homers to get us started and let Paxton cruise a little bit," Judge said. "This whole road trip is just trying to get ahead of guys and let guys do their thing."

Pax all, folks

Paxton said that it felt "weird" to be on the mound in Seattle, where he pitched the first six seasons of his Major League career, though he tried to look past the familiar opposing uniforms and focus on pounding Sanchez's glove.

That allowed Paxton to hold his former club hitless until the fourth inning, when Kyle Seager cracked a game-tying, two-run homer to right field.

"I was just trying not to think about it," Paxton said. "These guys make it easier on me when they're scoring that many runs. It's awesome to put runs on the board like that."

That fourth inning cost Paxton, who lost command of the strike zone and issued four of his five walks. Though Paxton threw just 45 of 86 pitches for strikes, the lefty still improved to 6-0 in August by completing five innings of one-hit ball.

“It was definitely strange to be on the other side," Seager said. "I obviously played with him for quite a few years. I’m happy for him and the success he’s having over there, but not so happy about it today.”

Blow for blow

After belting his 100th career homer in his 371st career game on Tuesday, becoming the third-fastest player to reach the milestone in terms of games played behind Ryan Howard (325) and Sanchez (355), Judge remarked that he intended to catch his teammate's home run total.

Sanchez collected his 100th on this trip, an Aug. 23 drive off the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu, then tallied No. 101 in the first inning off Sheffield. Judge responded in the fifth, a towering blast to left field that evened the stars once more.

It was the 18th homer of the season for Judge, who hit only one between July 20 and Aug. 19, a span of 127 plate appearances. Sanchez said that the drought was not alarming to anyone within the Yankees' clubhouse.

"A lot of people were talking about it and asking why he's not hitting homers," Sanchez said. "I can tell you that I wasn't worried at all. I know what kind of talent he has, I know what he can do on the field. Right now, he's hot. Thirty is not out of reach for him."