ANAHEIM -- The most potent lineup in the big leagues continued to slug with abandon on Saturday, batting around in each of the first two innings to support Masahiro Tanaka's solid six-inning, nine-strikeout effort. The sizzling Yankees coasted to their eighth consecutive victory, an 11-1 drubbing of the Angels.Aaron Hicks
ANAHEIM -- The most potent lineup in the big leagues continued to slug with abandon on Saturday, batting around in each of the first two innings to support Masahiro Tanaka's solid six-inning, nine-strikeout effort. The sizzling Yankees coasted to their eighth consecutive victory, an 11-1 drubbing of the Angels.
Aaron Hicks drove in three runs to highlight the early attack as the Yankees sent 20 men to the plate while dispatching starter Garrett Richards to the showers after 1 1/3 innings. Gary Sanchez and Miguel Andujar mashed run-scoring doubles as part of a five-run first, which also saw runs score on an error, groundout and passed ball.
"It's always good to have some run support," Tanaka said through an interpreter. "I don't know if this applies to all pitchers, but sometimes when you're waiting that long to get into the game, that can, at times, throw your rhythm off. That was kind of the challenge. For me, I was able to come through strong. I thought it was a good day."
• Andujar, Torres playing key roles in Yanks' streak
After Tanaka set the Angels down in order on nine pitches, the Yankees repeated the feat in the second inning, tacking on another five runs in front of a sold-out crowd of 44,649 that once again loudly cheered for the visitors. Aaron Judge belted a run-scoring double and Hicks tripled in a pair before Neil Walker and Gleyber Torres singled home runs.
It marked the first time that the Yankees have batted around in each of the first two innings since July 24, 2007, at Kansas City, and it was the first time in history a team has done so against the Angels. New York leads the Majors in runs, homers, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
"A lot of times, we have guys that are going to hit the ball out of the ballpark, but that's not always what it has to be," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We've got the advantage of a couple of mistakes they made that allowed us to add some runs on early, but for the most part, those guys just made it really hard on the pitcher."
Richards was charged with nine runs (five earned) on five hits, as the Angels lost for the eighth time in 11 games following a 13-3 start to their season.
Staked to the massive advantage, Tanaka breezed to his fourth victory in six starts. Michael Trout's single to open the fourth inning and Zack Cozart's solo homer in the fifth were the only hits the right-hander allowed in six innings as he improved to 2-0 with a 1.60 ERA in five career starts vs. the Angels.
"He did a great job of sticking with his game plan," Boone said. "He still threw a lot of his secondary pitches in all counts, which is how he normally pitches. What I was pleased with, I didn't see anything change. He was on the attack, he was pounding the strike zone with his pitches, and there was no let-up at all."
The Yankees have outscored opponents 62-17 over the eight-game winning streak, which is their longest since April 9-17, 2017.
"Our approach of going into each and every game is pretty good," Tanaka said. "We're aggressive."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Barreled up: Judge's 118.1-mph single in the first inning not only kick-started the Yankees' onslaught, it was the hardest hit ball in the Majors this season. He added a 115.4-mph double in the fourth inning, marking just the fourth occasion in which a player has recorded multiple base hits of at least 115 mph in a game since Statcast™ began tracking such data in 2015. Judge was also the last player to do it, on June 10, 2017.
HE SAID IT
"I'm hungry and waiting for him." -- Torres, on responding with a second-inning single after being dusted by Eduardo Paredes with a 94-mph pitch up and in
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Yankees successfully challenged a call involving Walker at first base, extending the first inning and allowing their fourth run to score. Walker struck out, but the ball skipped past catcher Martin Maldonado, who retrieved it and threw to first. Though Walker was initially ruled out, that was overturned by review, with Sanchez scoring on the play.
The Yankees will seek a series sweep of the Angels and their ninth consecutive victory when they send left-hander Carsten Sabathia to the mound for an 8:05 p.m. ET matchup on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. Sabathia has not allowed an earned run in 10 1/3 innings since coming off the disabled list. The Angels will hand the ball to left-hander Tyler Skaggs.
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.