Sanchez homers again, Yankees rout Orioles 14-4
NEW YORK (AP) Gary Sanchez's at-bats are becoming must-see events.
The 23-year old rookie homered for the eighth time in nine games and drove in four runs as the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 14-4 Friday night in the opener of their weekend series.
''Guys are excited to watch,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. ''It's as good as I've seen to start a career.''
Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley also went deep for the surging Yankees, who moved five games over .500 for the first time this season and are 3 1/2 games behind Baltimore for the second AL wild card.
Sanchez, who had three hits, singled with two outs in the bottom of the first. Teixeira followed with a towering shot into the right-field bleachers off Yovani Gallardo to give New York a 2-1 lead.
The Yankees broke the game open against Gallardo (4-6) with a six-run second. The right-hander was charged with eight runs over 1 1/3 innings, the shortest start of his 10-year career.
Luis Cessa (4-0) gave up three runs and five hits over six innings in his second big-league start.
Manny Machado homered twice for the Orioles, giving him 31 for the season. Along with Mark Trumbo (38) and Chris Davis (30), it marks the first time in franchise history the Orioles have three players with 30 homers before September.
Headley singled and Aaron Judge walked to start the second inning. Ronald Torreyes lifted a fly ball to left-center field but a charging Nolan Reimold could not glove the ball cleanly, loading the bases. Reimold had just replaced star center fielder Adam Jones, who exited with a left hamstring strain.
''I just didn't like the way he was moving around. Decided not to take a chance with him,'' Orioles manager Buck Showalter said about Jones' early departure. ''See where we are tomorrow. It's not a DL thing. I think we're still in pretty good shape.''
Brett Gardner followed with a single to left that drove in Headley and a sliding Judge to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. Jacoby Ellsbury singled to right, scoring Torreyes for New York's fifth run.
Sanchez, hitting .541 with eight homers and 14 RBIs over his last 10 games, chased Gallardo with a two-run double to right that made it 7-1.
''I'm trying to just put a good swing on the ball,'' Sanchez said through a translator. ''That's the mindset that I have and good things are happening.''
Teixiera capped the scoring in the big inning with an RBI single off reliever Vance Worley for his third RBI of the game.
Headley's two-run homer in the fourth pushed the Yankees lead to 10-1, and Sanchez clubbed a two-run shot in the next inning for his 10th homer in 20 games this season.
''Anytime somebody's hot you want to watch their at-bats,'' Gardner said. ''He's as hot as it gets right now so we're all having a good time watching him.''
Machado, who gave the Orioles the lead in the first, hit his second of the game into the right-field seats in the sixth to make it 12-3 with his ninth career multi-homer game.
Torreyes and Gardner both had RBI hits in the seventh.
Yankees right-hander Ben Heller pitched a scoreless eighth in his major league debut.
Sanchez became only the third player in major league history to hit 10 homers in his first 22 career games, also achieved by Colorado's Trevor Story this year and Boston's George Scott in 1966.
The 20 RBIs across his first 22 games are the third-most in Yankees history behind Joe DiMaggio and Hideki Matsui.
MILESTONE FOR MARK
Teixeira's home run was his 202nd as a Yankee, tying Bill Dickey for 16th place on the franchise's all-time list.
Orioles: Jones was in the starting lineup despite leaving Thursday night's game with hamstring cramps. He hustled down the line but was thrown out on a soft grounder to third in his only at-bat. ... RHP Chris Tillman (right shoulder bursitis) is scheduled to throw on flat ground Tuesday.
Yankees: C Brian McCann was not with the team due to the death of his grandmother. ... RHP Bryan Mitchell (toe tear on left foot), reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday, could pitch for the Yankees this season. ''I think it's a distinct possibility,'' Girardi said.
Orioles: Rookie RHP Dylan Bundy (7-4, 3.33 ERA) attempts to win for the fifth time this month.
Yankees: RHP Chad Green (2-3, 3.66 ERA) has struck out 16 batters in 12 innings over his last two starts, allowing just one run over that span.