CLEVELAND — Marcus Thames said prior to Friday’s game that the Yankees’ offense was in a “funk,’’ but the team’s hitting coach quickly added he was confident they were “coming out of
CLEVELAND — Marcus Thames said prior to Friday’s game that the Yankees’ offense was in a “funk,’’ but the team’s hitting coach quickly added he was confident they were “coming out of it.”
It didn’t take long for Thames to be proven right. The Yankees went out Friday night and hit a season-high four homers — including a pair by Giancarlo Stanton — in a 5-3 win over the Indians.
The power surge helped the Yankees overcome a 3-0 first-inning deficit for a second consecutive night at Progressive Field, and they were aided by 4 ¹/₃ scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Manager Aaron Boone said he believes there is more to come from what has been an underperforming lineup.
“I think we’re gonna be a juggernaut on offense,’’ Boone said. “It’s important to get through the tough stretch we’ve been in offensively.”
While the Yankees went deep four times, those homers resulted in just five runs, and the manager is waiting for their hard contact to fully pay off.
“With the quality contact [Friday], it could have been a lot more [runs],’’ Boone said. “Hopefully, guys start to build on, whether it’s momentum, I look at it more as finding their stride of who they are. When they put it together, it’s gonna be scary.”
They were scary enough Friday to overcome another shaky outing from their starter.
Just as Domingo German did Thursday, Jordan Montgomery allowed three runs in the first inning.
The left-hander went to three balls on the first three batters of the game, walking two of them.
With two on and one out, Franmil Reyes ripped a double over Clint Frazier’s head in left for an RBI double.
After a visit from pitching coach Matt Blake, the Yankees brought the infield in and Eddie Rosario grounded out to the right side of the infield, driving in Jose Ramirez to give Cleveland a 2-0 lead.
At that point, Nick Nelson started warming in the bullpen.
Former Met Amed Rosario followed with a single to left to make it 3-0. Boone said afterward that if Montgomery hadn’t gotten a Roberto Perez groundout to end the inning, he would have been out of the game.
But Montgomery got that ground ball and retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced.
And as with German on Thursday, the Yankees’ offense got Montgomery off the hook almost immediately in the bottom of the first.
Aaron Hicks sparked the comeback with a one-out homer from the right side.
Gary Sanchez singled to center and after Clint Frazier flied out to deep center, Rougned Odor — whose two-run single gave the Yankees the lead on Thursday — homered to right to tie the game.
Stanton put the Yankees ahead with a leadoff homer in the third, sending a 118-mph missile into the left field seats, as they homered three times off left-hander Logan Allen.
Stanton added another blast in the fifth off Trevor Stephan, a 418-foot homer that made it 5-3.
The homers Stanton hit were “just different,” according to Boone.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,’’ the manager said. “You don’t see balls hit like that and to see two like that, those were two really impressive swings.”
For the previously slumping Stanton, who had a discussion with Thames about sticking with his approach, the results were a relief.
“It was nice to catch up to some fastballs and put the barrel on the ball to help get us a win,’’ Stanton said.
Montgomery should have made it out of the fifth. He gave up a one-out double to Jordan Luplow and then fanned Cesar Hernandez. Ramirez hit a grounder, but Gleyber Torres didn’t come up with and Odor dropped it once it got by Torres. It was ruled a hit and Montgomery left with runners on the corners.
Lucas Luetge entered to face Reyes, and the lefty got out of the inning with a strikeout to preserve the two-run lead.
Luetge also tossed a scoreless seventh and earned his first victory since 2013.
The left-hander gave way to Chad Green before Aroldis Chapman entered and picked up his fourth save, as the red-hit bullpen combined to throw 4 ¹/₃ scoreless innings.
This story originally appeared on: NyPost - Author:Dan Martin