Anibal Sanchez worked seven solid innings and J.D. Martinez hit a career-high three home runs to lead the Detroit Tigers to an easy 12-4 win over the New York Yankees. The win helped Detroit avoid a series sweep, but the Tigers lost five of their seven games against the Yankees this season.
The Tigers jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead thanks to a pair of home runs off Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka in the first inning. After Miguel Cabrera singled to right with two outs, Victor Martinez launched a monster home run to the upper deck in right field, giving the Tigers a 2-0 lead. In the next at-bat, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius booted a routine ground ball off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes that would have ended the inning. J.D. Martinez made the Yankees pay with another two-run shot, this one to deep left-center field.
The Tigers added two more runs in the second inning with another two-out rally. With Jose Iglesias and Rajai Davis aboard, Tanaka was able to induce a pop-up from Ian Kinsler for the second out of the inning. Tanaka then walked Cabrera, but a slow dribbler from Victor found a hole, scoring two more runs. Cespedes popped out with two on to end the inning with the score 6-0 Tigers.
The Yankees got on the board in the bottom of the second inning, cutting the Tigers' lead to 6-2. Brian McCann hit a long solo home run to right field with one out in the inning. After a single and a walk, third baseman Brendan Ryan poked a single through the middle of the infield to score Chris Young. Sanchez got out of the jam when he forced a groundout from Brett Gardner.
Not to be outdone, J.D. Martinez connected on his second home run of the game in the fifth inning. Martinez hit a hanging slider to deep center field, giving the Tigers a 7-2 lead. Martinez added his third homer of the afternoon in the next inning, going to the opposite field off of Danny Burawa, who was making his major league debut. Andrew Romine followed with a solo shot to left field off of Jose De Paula on the first pitch of his major league career, pushing the lead to 12-2.
After a solo home run from Stephen Drew in the top of the seventh, the only question remaining was whether J.D. Martinez would become the 17th player in MLB history to hit four home runs in a game. He got his final chance in the top of the eighth, but flied out to right field to finish 3-for-5 on the day.
Victor Martinez: V-Mart put a hurting on a hanging splitter from Tanaka in the first inning, resulting in his first home run from the left side of the plate in 2015. Martinez added two more RBI in the second when he hit a two-out single with the bases loaded, pushing the lead to 6-2.
J.D. Martinez: The younger Martinez hit three home runs, the first multi-homer game of his career. J.D. hit a pair of deep blasts to center field off of Tanaka, then added a three-run homer off rookie reliever Danny Burawa in the sixth.
Miguel Cabrera: The should-be All-Star starter reached base four times today, with a pair of walks and two opposite-field singles. In other words, business as usual.
Andrew Romine: In a surprise start at third base, Romine collected a pair of hits, including a solo home run in the sixth inning. Romine also made a couple of solid defensive plays at third, including a catch on a line drive to get Sanchez out of a jam in the second inning.
Ian Kinsler: Once again, Kinsler looked lost at the plate, failing to reach base in his first four at-bats. Kinsler is now hitting under .200 in the last month of play. He walked in his fifth plate appearance.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- The four runs allowed by Tanaka in the first inning were the most he has allowed in a single frame since April 6, 2015 against the Toronto Blue Jays.
- J.D. Martinez is the first Tigers batter to hit three home runs in a game since Miguel Cabrera did so on May 19, 2013 against the Texas Rangers. The last human to accomplish the feat in a Tigers uniform was Dmitri Young on April 4, 2005.
- Andrew Romine now has more career home runs at Yankee Stadium (2) than his brother Austin, who has played 76 games for the Yankees in his major league career (h/t Matthew B. Mowery).
1st-inning HRs by Victor Martinez, J.D. Martinez mark 7th time they’ve homered in same game, 3rd time they’ve homered in same half-inning— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 21, 2015
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