Higashioka makes Yankees history on 3rd HR
NEW YORK -- Three career hits. Three career home runs.
In the fourth inning of the Yankees' 6-2 victory over the Braves on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, Kyle Higashioka completed a feat that only one other player in franchise history has accomplished.
Higashioka turned on a 2-0 fastball from right-hander Julio Teheran and launched it 372 feet, according to Statcast™, to left field, giving the Yankees a 5-0 lead.
The catcher joins Alfonso Soriano (1999-2000) as the only two Bronx Bombers to homer for each of their first three career hits. Higashioka is just the ninth player since 1920 to accomplish the feat and first to do so since Trevor Story started his career with four in 2016, according to STATS.
"I couldn't have imagined it like that," Higashioka said. "But I'm just glad that they're contributing to wins. That's the name of the game here, so I'm just happy that that's the case."
The first of the three long balls came on Sunday, which snapped an 0-for-22 skid to start the backstop's Major League career.
"After the first one, I was definitely able to relax a little bit more," Higashioka said. "And now I just feel like I'm sticking with my approach, taking some good swings, and it's coming together a little bit."
Higashioka got the call on June 25 when Gary Sanchez was placed on the disabled list. In 51 games for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this season, the catcher hit just five home runs.
"He's been known for that power," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I think, organizationally speaking, we view him in that light even though he hasn't necessarily hit for it down there. The power's in there, especially against left-handed pitching.
"Do you expect a guy to come up as a third catcher and hit three home runs right away? Maybe not necessarily, but I wouldn't say the power honestly is a surprise because we've all seen it, especially within the organization."
Although Boone views Higashioka for his power, the backstop didn't focus as much on slugging. When asked if he considered himself to be a power hitter, Higashioka's answer was simple: "We'll see."