Record-setting night gives Yanks the sweep
With five big flies, New York establishes mark for homers against a team in a single season
BALTIMORE -- James Paxton is running out of words.
That's all Wednesday’s starting pitcher could say to himself in the dugout watching his offense complete what it just did. With five home runs in their 14-2, sweep-clinching win over the Orioles, the Yankees:
• Hit the most homers in a three-game set in franchise history (16)
• Set the record for homers against a team in a single season (52)
• Set the single-season record for homers as a visitor in one ballpark (43)
• Tied the ’77 Red Sox for consecutive games with at least five homers (3)
• Won yet another consecutive game at Camden Yards (14)
• And, most important, tied their season-high win streak (8) for an even wider cushion in the American League East (10 games)
“Man, we can sure hit, can’t we?” asked Paxton, who fanned seven in 6 2/3 innings en route to his seventh win. “These guys are on fire.”
Gio Urshela -- the surprise team MVP candidate who was on the mend the past two days -- was the lucky one to waltz the team into history. The first of his two long balls in his first multihomer game gave the Yankees their 49th against the Orioles this season, surpassing the ’56 Yanks’ mark against the Kansas City A’s.
“We talk about his loud barrel a lot,” manager Aaron Boone said, adding that Urshela was moving a little slowly because of soreness in his leg, but not too much for concern. “Those were some loud barrels on both those balls he hit out.”
Urshela's historic hit came after catcher Kyle Higashioka set the table. In the fourth inning, Higashioka, who had his first career multihomer game as well, hit the first -- and later the last -- of the team's five long balls on the night.
The homers by Urshela and Higashioka were their first against the Orioles this season, bringing the grand total of Yankees who have homered against Baltimore in ’19 to 17. Only 15 Orioles have homered this entire season.
But that is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to impressive numbers from this series. The Yankees’ 43 homers in 10 games in Baltimore this season are more than both the Giants (39 in 56 games) and Tigers (37 in 54 games) have hit at home this year.
Forty-three is one fewer than the total amount of runs the Orioles scored in the 10 home games against New York this year. The Yankees, meanwhile, tallied 95 of their own and laced 120 hits in such contests.
In 15 games against the Orioles this season, the Yankees have scored 118 runs. In 15 games against the Red Sox, that number is 104.
“We have guys that are capable of that,” Boone said. “They’ve done a good job of taking advantage of mistakes. Seems like everyone up and down our lineup has had their fair share, and they capitalize.
“Especially over here.”
Most shocking is that the offensive onslaught came without the Yankees' usual cast of characters. Aaron Judge was held to just 2-for-9 in the series, albeit with six walks. Gary Sánchez and Gleyber Torres -- combined owners of 16 homers in 32 games at Camden Yards in their careers -- were non-factors due to injury (though both could be back for the Toronto series). Giancarlo Stanton is out. Edwin Encarnacion is on the shelf. Luke Voit is not playing.
“It seems like it’s come from a lot of different places,” Boone said. “They take a lot of pride in making it difficult on the pitchers and passing the baton. They have a lot of confidence in the guys in front of them and behind them.”
Though he was held hitless on Wednesday with two walks, Mike Tauchman was one of the biggest contributors to the records. It was the first of his three homers in the series on Monday that set the record for homers on the road, which initially stood at 28. That was extended by a mile on Wednesday.
New York gets another crack at Baltimore with four games in three days at Yankee Stadium, starting on Monday. But the history made this week does little to take away from the team's hunger for the ultimate goal.
“We’re just focused on winning every day,” Higashioka said. “And then eventually, hopefully, we end the season with a win.
“In late October, I believe,” he clarified with a smile.