Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Yanks break out the bats to overpower Bucs

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- Held hitless for 4 2/3 innings Saturday afternoon, the Yankees finally found their bats -- in a big way. Starlin Castro and Chris Carter each launched a three-run homer and Aaron Judge added a monster solo shot in the ninth, leading the Yankees to an 11-5 win at PNC Park. 

While Castro's game-tying homer and Carter's go-ahead blast pushed the Yankees past the Bucs, it was Judge's prodigious shot, his sixth of the season, that had everyone talking after the game. More >

View Full Game Coverage

PITTSBURGH -- Held hitless for 4 2/3 innings Saturday afternoon, the Yankees finally found their bats -- in a big way. Starlin Castro and Chris Carter each launched a three-run homer and Aaron Judge added a monster solo shot in the ninth, leading the Yankees to an 11-5 win at PNC Park. 

While Castro's game-tying homer and Carter's go-ahead blast pushed the Yankees past the Bucs, it was Judge's prodigious shot, his sixth of the season, that had everyone talking after the game. More >

View Full Game Coverage

"Every time he hits the ball," Castro said, "the sound is unbelievable."

Video: NYY@PIT: Castro lifts a three-run homer to left field

Right-hander Jameson Taillon cruised through the first four innings, allowing only a walk as he turned over New York's lineup. Early homers by Andrew McCutchen and David Freese helped stake Taillon to a 3-0 lead, but Castro crushed a game-tying shot in the sixth and the Pirates' flimsy defense allowed the Yankees to pull ahead, 5-3.

Struggling Gardner replaced by Hicks Saturday

The Bucs rallied to tie the game in the sixth but unraveled in the eighth. Second baseman Adam Frazier booted what would have been the third out of the inning, and Carter made him pay. Carter sent Felipe Rivero's 86-mph changeup into the bullpen in left-center field for a go-ahead three-run homer, his first of the year.

Video: NYY@PIT: Carter crushes a pinch-hit three-run homer

"I think our overall defense has got to tighten up," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "The problematic play tonight at second base to put the inning away ... that's Rivero's out there, that's three outs and we're off the field. It didn't happen." More >  

Judge joined the Yankees' home-run derby in the ninth. The towering right fielder ripped his sixth homer of the season off Antonio Bastardo a projected 457 feet -- with an exit velocity of 115.6 mph, according to Statcast™ -- into the second deck in left field. 

Video: NYY@PIT: Judge crushes a no-doubter for a home run

"The ball cut back into the guy's bat path," Hurdle said. "That's a big man. Put a big swing on it."

"I'm not so sure I saw it land. I was looking at other things," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Sometimes these guys hit these balls so far ... I just can't follow them so far."

 • Struggling Bastardo still looking to find rhythm

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Evened up: Down 3-0 in the sixth, the Yankees finally cracked Taillon. Jacoby Ellsbury doubled and Aaron Hicks walked to begin the inning. Castro came up with one out and swung at the first pitch he saw, a 95.3-mph fastball. The ball came off his bat at 106.3 mph, according to Statcast™, and landed a projected 394 feet away in the left-field seats. The three-run blast, Castro's fourth of the season, tied the game.

Wrong read in right: After Castro's homer, Judge doubled to the center-field wall and drove Taillon from the game. But the Yankees pulled ahead in the sixth on a hit batter, a single to shallow center and a flare by Ronald Torreyes. The shortstop hit a bloop to right field, where John Jaso -- making his second career start there -- misread it and made a late diving attempt. The ball skipped past Jaso, allowing two runs to score. Jaso is one of several utility players thrust into a rotating right-field platoon following Starling Marte's 80-game suspension.

Video: NYY@PIT: Torreyes drives in two with double to center

"That's kind of picking a scab to say right-field defense because of one play," Hurdle said. "He's made plays. He hasn't had a misplay [before Saturday] since he's been out there."

QUOTABLE
"A win would have felt better, for sure. … We've still got some work to do. It was a game that was going well, then we had that big inning against us. We've got to keep battling, keep fighting, show up tomorrow." -- McCutchen, who homered and walked twice, but was charged with an error in the eighth

Video: NYY@PIT: McCutchen opens the scoring with solo homer

"Just keep everything simple. He said it's a complicated game, don't make it too complicated. Simplify everything you can with your approach. If you start thinking about too many things at the plate you're not gonna be successful.

"For someone like us who are big, simplify it and put the barrel on the ball, and good things will happen." -- Judge, on getting advice from Dave Winfield

WHAT'S NEXT:
Yankees: 
Rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery makes his third start on Sunday, coming off his first Major League win on Monday, against the White Sox. Montgomery pitched six innings, yielding seven hits and three earned runs.

Pirates: Right-hander Ivan Nova will face his former team for the first time in the regular season when he starts the Pirates' 1:35 p.m. ET series finale against the Yankees on Sunday at PNC Park. Nova, coming off a complete-game loss to the Cardinals in St. Louis, is 4-2 with a 2.41 ERA in eight starts at home.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Bob Cohn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Pittsburgh, who covered the Yankees on Saturday.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, read his blog and listen to his podcast.