Luke Voit Powers Yankees to Win With Two Home Runs, Ties Major League Lead

Max Goodman

NEW YORK — After Yankees' first baseman Luke Voit launched a pair of three-run home runs in Game 2 of Friday night's doubleheader, raising his season total to 16, manager Aaron Boone asked himself a question.

"Where would we be without him?"

Voit isn't just paving the way in pinstripes, leading the team in virtually every offensive category this season. He's now tied with Angels' star outfielder Mike Trout for the most home runs in all of Major League Baseball.

"It's pretty cool," Voit said. "The guy is the face of baseball, the best player in the game. It's pretty cool to have your name next to him, but there's still plenty of games left to play."

With sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each missing an extended period of time due to injury, and other key contributors sidelined on the IL at different points this season as well, Voit has been this club's most consistent and dangerous weapon at the plate all season long.

"Just a complete hitter," DJ LeMahieu said after the 10-1 victory over the Orioles to sweep the doubleheader. "Hits the crap out of mistakes and you want him in big situations. He's a complete hitter and on quite a roll right now."

READ: Gerrit Cole Twirls Two-Hit Complete-Game Shutout Against Orioles in Game 1

New York had a 4-1 lead in the fourth inning, cruising behind a strong outing from right-hander Masahiro Tanaka. That's when Voit decided to take matters into his own hands.

First, he mashed a 1-2 fastball from Baltimore's Asher Wojciechowski, sending it 414 feet to center field. It left his bat at 106.9 mph, the hardest ball hit in play for the Yankees all night long.

The next inning, it was déjà vu for Wojciechowski. The right-hander served up a slider over the heart of the plate on 2-0 and Voit didn't miss it, pulling a second long ball into the seats. It was the fifth multi-homer game of his four-year career and second in 2020.

Six runs batted in for the first baseman is a new career high. He's now hitting .285 this season (43-for-151) with 36 RBI and 32 runs scored.

"He's been great. I mean, what an impact performer he's been," Boone said. "From going back to Summer Camp, I just felt like he was in such a good place in the batter's box and carried it right into the season. Hasn't stopped."

As Voit rounded the bases Friday night, however, it was clear the 29-year-old was dealing with some discomfort. Back on Aug. 28, two weeks ago, Boone first revealed the slugger has been managing some "foot stuff," never specifying what exactly his injury is or even which foot has been bothering him.

Voit explained that a tough stretch of late, with a handful of doubleheaders, has added some "wear and tear" to his discomfort, but he has no intentions of missing time. Even if he has good days and bad days, he wants to be out there everyday.

"I'm going to do everything possible to make sure I can play," Voit said. "I gotta be out here with the boys and I'll do everything to grind through it and do everything I can to help us win."

Just days ago, Voit spoke out about the frustration in the Yankees' clubhouse and how he felt other teams were no longer afraid to face the New York Yankees. After all, his club had lost 15 of 20 games and dropped to third place in the AL East. Now, after halting a five-game skid, the Bombers have won three games in a row with two more on tap against the Orioles over the weekend.

READ: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton Could Return To Yankees By Next Weekend

Mix together Voit's hot bat, Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu settling into the lineup after their respective IL stints, as well as the expectation that Judge and Stanton will rejoin the big-league club in a week, New York is all of a sudden back on track offensively with less than three weeks to play.

Asked who he's betting on in the home run race this season, between Voit and Trout, LeMahieu didn't hesitate.

"Right now, I got Lukey for sure."

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For more from Max Goodman, follow him on Twitter @MaxTGoodman. Follow ITP on Twitter @SI_Yankees and Facebook @SIYankees

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