'This is fun': Yanks (3 HRs) keep pace in WC

Montgomery yields 1 run over 5 2/3 frames; Severino returns to bump

September 22nd, 2021

NEW YORK -- launched one of the hardest-hit home runs seen in the Majors this season, homered against his former team and launched a massive three-run shot as the Yankees muscled up for a 7-1 victory over the Rangers on Tuesday evening at Yankee Stadium.

It was the third time that Stanton, Gallo and Judge have homered in the same game, all coming within the past two weeks. The power display helped the Bombers keep pace in the American League Wild Card chase, staying 1 1/2 games behind the Red Sox and a half-game behind the Blue Jays.

"Any time we can get hot, it's good for the team, good for the offense," Stanton said. "It's what we need to do, and hopefully one through nine can follow suit. We've got a task at hand, and we've got some important series coming up."

Stanton's 31st home run of the year was a 118.5 mph bullet that pelted the back row of the left-field grandstand, chasing Texas starter Dane Dunning in the third inning. Only the Padres' Manny Machado (119.6 mph) and Franchy Cordero of the Red Sox (118.6 mph) have hit harder homers this year.

"You feel bad for the fans sometimes," Judge said, with a laugh. "It just shows what this team can do. If you leave something over the middle to some of our big guys, they're going to do damage. It's just always fun to see that, especially when all the guys are kind of clicking."

Gallo cracked his 38th homer of the season (and 13th as a Yankee) off Kolby Allard in the sixth inning. Judge put the game out of reach in the seventh, crushing an Allard cutter for an opposite-field three-run shot, his 36th homer of the year.

"Judge allowed us to pull away and put that game away in a lot of ways," said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. "Stanton, I had a front-row seat to watch that thing leave in an absolute hurry. Joey's was a majestic, high, left-handed home run into the second deck. I liked them all."

Stanton also knocked in the game's first run with a first-inning groundout, supporting , who held Texas to a run on four hits over 5 2/3 innings.

Montgomery walked one and struck out six, allowing one run or fewer for the eighth time in his last 10 starts. The left-hander credited his changeup for keeping Texas off balance, believing the Rangers were hunting his curveball.

"I'm starting to get really comfortable just being out there," Montgomery said. "I'm starting to really feel some things in my mechanics that I can repeat."

tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief before yielding to right-hander , who pitched two scoreless frames in his first big league appearance since the 2019 American League Championship Series -- a span of 707 days.

"I felt pretty good," Severino said. "I was not worried about my command, because I knew I could throw strikes. Slider, changeup, fastball command was really great."

Severino had Tommy John surgery performed in February 2020, and his return was delayed this season by groin and shoulder injuries.

"It's a proud moment for him, for his teammates and for all of us that have seen him go through a lot," Boone said. "We're talking about a great pitcher in this league that has obviously had the injury bug and battled different things. He worked his tail off to get to this moment."

While Severino's comeback was the feel-good story of the night, the continuing trend was the Bombers' embrace of a boom-or-bust offensive approach -- one they hope will carry them into October. The Yankees have homered in a season-high 14 consecutive games, scoring 51 of their 66 runs over that span via the long ball.

"This is fun," Judge said. "It's all in our hands. That's where you want to be as a competitor and as a professional. You want to be holding the cards. You want to be going out there, have some fun and win some ballgames."