Stanton, Hicks, Higashioka homer as Yankees beat Braves 8-5
By CHARLES O'BRIEN
Jul. 04, 2018
NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton gave New York a scare with an awkward fall in right field. An inning later, he showed everyone in the Bronx that he was just fine.
Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka each homered and New York went ahead early and hung on to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-5 on Tuesday night.
Stanton was shaken up after crashing into the right field wall chasing after Nick Markakis' seventh-inning home run. He knocked padding off the base of the wall, and the team's training staff ran out to check on New York's prized offseason acquisition a pitch later. Stanton remained in the game, made a leaping catch later in the inning, then slugged his 20th home run of the season in the eighth.
"That's par for the course, that's baseball," Stanton said. "If you get subbed in, you usually get the ball the first time, so, something like that happens, expect it."
Stanton's homer gave New York some breathing room after the Braves crept on its early lead. His two-run shot off Evan Phillips made him the 11th player to reach 20 homers in each of his first nine major league seasons. Phillips was making his major league debut.
New York is a major league-best 32-13 at home. The Yankees improved to a majors-best 21-6 against left-handed starters and remain a game behind Boston for the best record in baseball.
Aaron Judge had two hits and a walk, and he stole two bases for the first time in his career. Hicks also walked twice as New York drew eight free passes.
Markakis and Ender Inciarte each hit two-run homers for Atlanta, which ended a four-game winning streak. The Braves remain atop the NL East but fell behind the Brewers for the best record in the NL.
A night after Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. barely cleared the wall to give Atlanta an 11-inning victory, the Yankees took advantage of their cozy stadium.
Hicks continued his home run binge by hitting Sean Newcomb's 95 mph fastball two rows into the right field stands for his 15th of the season and a 2-0 lead in the first. Hicks has hit nine home runs in his last 17 games.
"He's put together a really good season for us and right now, he's at a really, really good place in the batter's box," Boone said.
Newcomb (8-3) stood on the mound shaking his head after the ball carried over the fence. The left-hander allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings in the shortest start of his career. Newcomb had posted three straight quality starts but threw a career-high 111 pitches his last time out.
"Balls kind of get sucked up out there, so that's frustrating," he said.
New York scored twice in the third without a hit. Newcomb walked the bases loaded, then walked Brandon Drury to force in a run. Luke Jackson relieved, but he walked Higashioka for another run. Newcomb's five walks matched a career high.
"He was just having a hard time controlling everything," Braves manager Brian Snitker said.
Staked with a six-run cushion, Yankees starter Domingo German tired in the fifth. After Johan Camargo walked, Inciarte crushed a curveball into the stands for his sixth of the season.
Rookie Ozzie Albies homered on the next pitch to draw Atlanta within three. Freddie Freeman and Markakis hit consecutive singles to end German's night. Atlanta hit back-to-back homers for just the third time this season.
A.J. Cole, reinstated off the disabled list earlier in the day, struck out Tyler Flowers with the bases loaded to end the threat. Since being acquired from Washington on April 23, Cole (2-0) has allowed one earned run in 14 2/3 innings.
In the eighth, Chasen Shreve relieved with runners on first and second and one out and retired Inciarte and Albies to preserve a one-run lead.
Aroldis Chapman threw a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save. The hard-throwing closer was used in three straight games for the first time this season.
Eight-year old Hailey Dawson threw out the ceremonial first pitch with her 3D printed hand created by students at UNLV. Dawson was born with Poland Syndrome, a rare birth defect that left the youngster without the three middle fingers on her right hand. She has been on a quest to throw a first pitch for each MLB team.
Higashioka became the third player in franchise history to homer for his first two big league hits, joining Alfonso Soriano (1999-2000) and Joe Lefebvre (1980).
Yankees: INF Gleyber Torres (right hip stiffness) was held out of the starting lineup. The sensational rookie "stiffened up" Monday night, according to manager Aaron Boone, but entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth. ... RHP Masahiro Tanaka remains scheduled for a rehab start with Triple-A Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday. Boone is hopeful Tanaka will throw between 65 and 75 pitches. ... C Austin Romine (left hamstring) was held out of the starting lineup for a third straight night
LHP CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.02 ERA) pitches the series finale for New York. Sabathia allowed just seven earned runs over five starts in June (1.93 ERA) and is 3-1 in four starts against Atlanta. He's opposed by Julio Teheran (6-5, 4.21 ERA), who gave up eight runs in 4 1/3 innings in his only appearance against New York on Aug, 30, 2015.
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