NEW YORK -- As the Yankees continue to bash balls over the fence, Luke Voit is not shy about thumping his chest, proclaiming that his team is “back to being the Bronx Bombers” and that opponents had best beware facing them in the postseason. It would be difficult to argue any of those points, especially this week.
Voit crushed his Major League-leading 20th home run as the Yankees became the first team in history to hit six or more homers in three consecutive games. It was a power display that Giancarlo Stanton described as “scary,” pushing the Yanks’ winning streak to eight games in a 10-7 victory over the Blue Jays on Thursday night.
“With all of us in there at once, it’s something special,” Stanton said. “It’s something fun to be a part of. It’s coming together at the perfect time.”
New York set a big league record with 19 homers in a three-game span, completing a series sweep of Toronto that bolstered the Yankees’ playoff position. As the Yanks (29-21) prepare to embark on their final regular-season road trip, they are within one game of the Twins (31-21) to secure home-field advantage in the Wild Card Series.
“The guys are playing with a lot of confidence,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We’ve been getting outstanding starting pitching, and the offense is feeding off each other. When we get to the ballpark every day, they’re expecting that we’re going to go out and win a ballgame. That’s a good place to be.”
Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu and Voit all homered on consecutive pitches in the fourth inning from right-hander Chase Anderson. After an out, Stanton and Gleyber Torres followed with back-to-back blasts, marking the seventh five-homer inning in Major League history and the first since the Nationals enjoyed one on July 27, 2017.
It was the first time the Yankees -- that celebrated franchise of Ruth, Gehrig and Mantle -- have tallied five homers in a frame. The Bombers’ fourth-inning blasts traveled a combined 2,005 feet, according to Statcast.
“You go down inside and you miss two home runs,” said Stanton, who notched his first four-hit performance in more than two years. “It was much needed. It was just amazing to see everybody contribute like that.”
Gary Sánchez added another long ball in the seventh off T.J. Zeuch, and the Yanks’ 19 homers in the series soared a combined 7,496 feet -- approximately 28 New York City blocks. The previous record for homers in a three-game span was 16, shared by the 2019 Yankees, 2019 Nationals and 1977 Red Sox.
“What a show,” Sánchez said through an interpreter. “It’s been a while since we’ve felt that kind of energy. We went through a bad stretch; to find results, turn it around and … have the opportunity to give the fans a show, it feels good.”
Over their eight-game win streak, the Yankees have hit more homers (27) than their opponents have runs scored (20).
The surge has been thrilling -- Voit’s joyous bellows could be heard from the press box after Stanton’s homer -- but Boone said the recent run is rooted in the rotation, a string that began last week during the team’s visit to the Jays’ temporary home in Buffalo.
Masahiro Tanaka allowed a pair of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homers but earned the victory, limiting Toronto to three runs and seven hits over seven innings. The right-hander struck out five and did not walk a batter, extending a 12-game streak by Yankees starters of limiting opponents to three earned runs or fewer.
“We talk among each other, and I definitely feel like we are feeding off each other,” Tanaka said through an interpreter. “But the thing we can’t forget is our offense. They’re doing a really good job, and that combination is allowing us to win ballgames.”
The Yanks carried a seven-run lead to the ninth inning, withstanding an ineffective outing by Jonathan Holder that featured a run-scoring infield dribbler and a bases-loaded walk, prompting Aroldis Chapman’s entry.
Bo Bichette greeted Chapman with a two-run single, bringing the potential tying run to the plate, but the closer reared back for 101 mph heaters that gassed Randal Grichuk and Teoscar Hernández to seal his third save and send the Yanks back to their raucous clubhouse.
“There’s a lot of smiles in there,” Stanton said. “We call these days ‘happy flight days.’ It’s a lot of high energy in there, a lot of fun. We’ve got to keep it rolling.”