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The Yankees showed signs of breaking out on their eight-game road trip, but arrived home feeling like they let a couple more wins slip away.
Friday, they appeared to take a month’s worth of frustrations out on a weak opponent and sent April out in emphatic fashion.
The Yankees feasted on the Tigers, crushing five home runs and getting 12 strikeouts from a dominant Gerrit Cole to cruise to a 10-0 win at Yankee Stadium.
“When everyone’s contributing like tonight — when you get great starting pitching and making the plays and different guys contributing up and down the order offensively — it makes for a really fun night,” manager Aaron Boone said.
Aaron Judge, returning from a two-game absence due to vague lower-body soreness, looked just fine as he ripped a pair of homers, including a grand slam. Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks and Rougned Odor joined him in the home run parade, all of them coming in the first five innings as the Yankees (12-14) quickly turned the game into a laugher.
Giancarlo Stanton stayed in the ballpark, but collected his third straight three-hit game as the Yankees piled up 15 hits on the Tigers (8-19).
“We were all kind of off on all cylinders, and now it’s a good turn to start being on all cylinders,” Stanton said. “We still got a ways to go to be clicking everywhere, but it’s good. We’re building off good games and good at-bats and taking our walks, taking our hits. It’s looking good.”
Cole, meanwhile, delivered six shutout innings, allowing just four singles and no walks. He struck out six straight Tigers at one point and now has 62 strikeouts — and just three walks — through his first six starts (37 ²/₃ innings) of the season.
“I came out with a goal to try to settle in a bit earlier this year,” Cole said. “I think I’m on the right track to do that.”
The Tigers only threatened against him in the fourth inning with a pair of two-out singles. But Cole locked in and struck out Wilson Ramos with a nasty changeup to escape the jam.
The Yankees offense gave Cole plenty of help from the start. Stanton, who had caught fire during the Yankees’ 5-3 road trip, doubled and scored on Gio Urshela’s RBI single in the first inning. But after that, the Yankees took to the long ball.
Frazier homered for the second time in three games with a solo shot in the second inning. Judge and Hicks joined the party in the third inning, with Judge crushing a ball 436 feet to the batter’s eye in center field and Hicks belting another solo shot to left field for the 4-0 lead.
Judge then doubled the Yankees’ lead in the fourth inning with a grand slam to the second deck in right field to make it 8-0.
An RBI double from Hicks in the fourth and a solo shot from Odor in the fifth accounted for the final score.
April had been a tough month for the Yankees. They started 5-10 in large part due to a quiet offense in the early going. But before the calendar flipped to May, the Yankees looked more like the team they envisioned being as they kicked off a nine-game homestand with a thorough win.
“It’s definitely good to swing the way they did up and down [the lineup],” Boone said. “That’s been one of the things over the last 10 days is we’ve started to win some more games and the offense has started to come through. It does seem like a lot of different guys are having a hand in things, and that was certainly the case tonight. It’s good to definitely get a lopsided one go our way. Hopefully we can continue to build.”
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