Yankees’ Grisham rises to the occasion as Stroman stumbles early

New York Yankees’ Trent Grisham, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a two-run home run against the Minnesota Twins during the second inning of a baseball game Thursday, June 6, 2024, in New York.

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The Yankees completed a sweep of the Twins, increasing their AL East lead over Baltimore to a season-high 4 1/2 games. With the Phillies idle, New York now boasts the majors’ best record at 45-19.

Despite Marcus Stroman‘s shortened outing of 4 2/3 innings, during which he gave up five runs and ended the rotation’s 22-game streak of allowing three earned runs or fewer, the Yankees trailed for just 1 1/2 frames. The offense ignited in the bottom of the second with Trent Grisham‘s two-run homer on the first pitch he saw, his third hit of the year and first since April 29 against Baltimore. Grisham’s only other homer came on April 26 versus Milwaukee.

The Yankees‘ victory secured a season sweep of Minnesota, extending their dominance over AL Central opponents with 123 wins in their last 167 meetings since 2002, including the postseason. This win streak is their longest of 2024, matching their nine-game run from June 6-18 last season.

New York continued to apply pressure with baserunners in every inning after the second. In the third, Juan Soto, Aaron Judge (who extended his on-base streak to 32 games), and Giancarlo Stanton all walked, setting the stage for Gleyber Torres’ two-run double and Austin Wells’ sacrifice fly, giving the Yankees a 5-2 lead.

In the fourth inning, Anthony Volpe led off with an infield single and scored following a stolen base and a throwing error by catcher Christian Vazquez, pushing the lead to 7-2. Volpe’s on-base streak also extended to 32 games, matching Judge’s.

Minnesota managed to score three runs in the fifth to chase Stroman, but the Yankees responded with Grisham’s sacrifice fly in the bottom half, restoring a three-run cushion. After a rain delay, the bullpen delivered four scoreless frames, with Clay Holmes securing his 18th save.

The sweep concluded an impressive 6-0 homestand for the Yankees against AL Central teams. They now embark on a nine-game road trip, starting Friday night in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, who own the fifth-best record in baseball.

Yankees’ winning attitude reigns supreme

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Tommy Kahnle found himself in a tight spot in the eighth inning with two on and two outs. However, Anthony Volpe came through with a stellar play to his right, fielding a sharp grounder from Carlos Correa and securing the force at second to maintain the Yankees’ three-run lead.

The Yankees received an unexpected offensive lift from the seldom-used Trent Grisham, who entered the game just 2-for-39 on the season but managed to drive in three runs.

Grisham’s contributions helped offset a shaky performance from Marcus Stroman, who allowed a season-high five runs over 4 2/3 innings. Stroman gave up two solo home runs in the first three innings and struggled in the fifth, allowing two doubles and hitting a batter.

Despite Stroman’s difficulties, New York pummeled Minnesota’s right-hander Pablo Lopez, scoring seven runs over his four innings. The offensive barrage included Grisham’s two-run homer in the second and a three-run third inning highlighted by Gleyber Torres’ two-run double.

With the score tied at 2-2, the Yankees loaded the bases in the bottom of the third as Juan Soto, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton each worked walks against Lopez.

Gleyber Torres smacked a one-out chopper past first base, sending it down the right field line for a two-run double, giving the Yankees a 5-2 lead. Austin Wells then added to the advantage with a sacrifice fly.

Yankees Trent Grisham and Alex Verdugo in dugout after the former's home run against the Twins at Yankee Stadium on June 7, 2024.
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By the fourth inning, the Yankees had extended their lead to 7-2. However, Marcus Stroman encountered trouble in the fifth, allowing three of the first four batters to score. Trent Grisham’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning pushed New York’s lead to 8-5. The bullpen then took over, with five relievers combining for 5 1/3 shutout innings to secure the victory.

Stroman expressed confidence in the team’s performance, noting that they expect to win every time they take the field. 

This mindset has been effective so far this season. However, the team could face a new challenge with pending updates on the severity of Juan Soto’s injury.

The win improved the Yankees’ record to 6-0 against Minnesota this season, marking the ninth instance in franchise history that New York has achieved a perfect 6-0 or better against a single opponent in one season.

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