NEW YORK — All year long, the Yankees have been playing close games.
In fact, after Thursday night's loss to the Orioles in extra innings, New York was tied with the Mets for the most games played determined by two runs or fewer (84) this season.
So when New York took a 2-0 lead over the Cleveland Indians into the bottom of the seventh on Friday night in the Bronx, it looked like more of the same from the Bombers. Could the bullpen hold on if the offense didn't add any insurance runs?
That's when the Yankees' offense woke up in a big way, scoring six runs in the next two innings to cruise to an 8-0 victory.
Joey Gallo was the star on Friday night, whacking two no-doubt home runs. His first of the night came in the second, a missile into the second deck in right off right-hander Zach Plesac.
The outfielder's second blast of the evening was a towering solo shot into the Yankees' bullpen in the eighth, going back-to-back with Giancarlo Stanton.
Gallo has now homered six times in his last six games with an at-bat, finally swinging a hot bat after an ice-cold start to his Yankees career.
Brett Gardner blew the game open in the seventh, sending a line drive over the short porch in right for a three-run shot to give New York a six-run advantage.
The only other Yankee to go yard during Friday's power barrage was right fielder Aaron Judge, who slugged his 35th long ball of the year in the fourth frame.
After six scoreless innings from Corey Kluber, who was facing his old team for the first time, the bullpen didn't falter. Michael King and Lucas Luetge combined to record the final nine outs with three hitless innings.
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