Hot day, hot bats: Yanks torch Rockies 11-5, win 5th in row
NEW YORK — The Yankees are as hot as the weather, torching Colorado pitching for the second straight day.
Edwin Encarnación chased Anthony Senzatela with a two-run double in a five-run second inning, and New York romped over the Rockies 11-5 Saturday for its fifth straight win.
On an afternoon with a 94-degree gametime temperature, the highest for the Yankees this season, New York went ahead when Aaron Judge doubled in a run on Senzatela’s 10th pitch and took a 9-0 lead by the fourth.
Encarnación added an RBI double in the seventh and has 21 RBIs in 24 games since Yankees acquired him from Seattle, including seven in the weekend series. DJ LeMahieu raised his AL-leading average to .334 with three hits, giving him five in two games against his former team.
New York began the day with a nine-game AL East lead, its largest in seven years, and increased its best-in-the-majors record to 64-33. The Yankees are 14-0-1 in their last 15 home series and are on their fifth winning streak of five games or more.
Colorado has lost six straight and 13 of 15 while getting outscored 127-64. The Rockies resembled a mirage of a big league team, making two errors plus key mental mistakes. Left fielder Ramiel Tapia’s failure to throw the ball to the infield led to havoc in a 34-minute bottom of the second, and no one covered second as slow-footed catcher Austin Romine swiped a base for just the fourth time in his big league career,.
Masahiro Tanaka (7-5) needed just 46 pitches to breeze through five innings, getting nine groundouts, three strikeouts, two flyouts and a lineout while allowing a pair of singles. Senzatela and Chad Bettis combined to throw 79 pitches in the first two innings alone.
Tanaka tired in Colorado’s five-run sixth that included Nolan Arenado’s 22nd homer, a three-run drive that hit the top of the center-field wall and bounced over.
Senzatela (8-7) allowed six runs, seven hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings, the shortest of 51 career starts. His ERA rose to 6.29.
New York’s only worry was first baseman Luke Voit. He was hit in the fourth by a 91 mph pitch from Bettis that glanced off his left shoulder and struck the left side of his face. Voit scored on Gleyber Torres’ two-run single, then returned to the clubhouse and was replaced. The Yankees said tests indicated he did not have a concussion.
Colorado came apart in the second after Didi Gregorius’ leadoff single. Torres singled to left for the first of his three hits, and Gregorius sped to third as Tapia held the ball for about four seconds and then tossed ever-so-softly toward third. Senzatela cut off the throw and flung the ball into right field as Torres headed to second, allowing Gregorius to head home.
Romine singled for a 3-0 lead, made a delayed steal of second with the infield shifted for LeMahieu and scored on a bases-loaded single by Aaron Hicks, who had been 4 for 45 in his career with the bases full.
Rockies C Tony Wolters was limping after the 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge slid into him trying to score on Encarnación’s first-inning grounder to shortstop Trevor Story. Wolters held onto the ball and tagged out Judge.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone watched Friday’s game from owner Hal Steinbrenner’s box, between the second and third decks, between home plate and third base. Boone was serving a one-game suspension for his tirade at an umpire Thursday.
Rockies: All-Star OF David Dahl returned to the lineup, a day after he was scratched due to a bruised left foot.
LHP James Paxton (5-4) starts Sunday’s series finale for the Yankees. RHP German Márquez (8-5), who starts for the Rockies, has the highest ERA among qualified NL pitchers at 5.12.AlertMe