Carpenter, Higashioka homer twice in New York Yankees drubbing of Chicago Cubs

New York Yankees
New York Yankees’ Matt Carpenter celebrates after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs.
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

The forecast had called for rain, but it was the New York Yankees bats that brought the thunder on Sunday afternoon in the Bronx. 

The Yankees scored a season-high 18 runs and Matt Carpenter and Kyle Higashioka each hit two home runs in an 18-4 thumping of the Chicago Cubs. The victory helped New York complete the sweep of the Cubs and continued the offensive onslaught of Chicago that had begun the night before when the Bombers hit a season-high six home runs. 

Sunday marked the 10th time this season that New York has scored 10 or more runs in a single game. It was also the highest number of runs the Yankees have scored in a single game since they put up 20 runs against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 15, 2020.

“It’s great. It’s not like we were pounding the ball all over the place there early,” manager Aaron Boone said about the quick offense. “It was just a lot of really, really good at-bats making their guy work hard. … Just quality at-bats that set the tone for the day.” 

Carpenter, an in-season free-agent signing, became the second player since 1900 to record six home runs on their first seven hits. Sunday marked the first time he had started in the field for the Yankees since joining the team last month. 

Higashioka’s pair of home runs were his first and second of the season. 

“I don’t really have words for it,” Carpenter said. “I obviously feel good at the plate and got my swing where I want it. I’m just trying to go out and execute. Win a pitch, win at pitches, trying to get good at-bats and been able to get a couple of good swings on some balls here lately.” 

New York chased starter Keegan Thompson from the game in the first inning after he gave up five runs. Yankees starter Jameson Taillon pitched five innings and struck out five while giving up three runs on seven hits.

Miguel Castro entered the game in the sixth in relief of Taillon and Manny Banuelos took over in the seventh. Taillon picked up the win and Banuelos was credited with the save. 

“Wish I could have went deeper,” Taillon said of his outing. “The pitch count got a little high there, but I thought the stuff was good. I thought the delivery was good. I thought I was controlling the fastball a lot better than last game. Not my best, but I felt like everything is in a pretty good spot.” 

The Yankees offense quickly made up for the one run given up to start the game, with Aaron Judge hitting a leadoff single and then Thompson walked three straight batters to drive in the tying run. Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a ground-rule double on the next at-bat to score two more runs and put the Yankees up 3-1. 

Marwin Gonzalez reached base after a miscommunication between Cubs fielders led to the ball dropping in the infield. Two batters later Joey Gallo hit a double to right field to drive in two more runs and put New York up by four. 

Carpenter made it 8-1 when he hit a three-run shot to right field in the second inning after Chicago walked Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu. Higashioka made it a 9-1 ballgame in the bottom of the third when he hit a home run on the first pitch of the inning to left-center field. 

Stanton doubled on a sharp liner to center to drive in the Yankees’ 10th run of the game. 

The Cubs finally got some runs on the board in the top of the fourth when Ian Happ scored on a ground out to third to cut the New York lead to 10-2. Nico Hoerner scored in the fifth to get Chicago its third run of the game. 

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The Bombers’ onslaught continued in the bottom of the sixth when Carpenter hit his second home run of the game. He sent a 2-1 fastball screaming to right-center field to extend the Yankees’ lead to 12-3. 

The Cubs did get a run back in the seventh, but the Yankees responded with five more runs in the bottom half of the inning to make it a 17-4 game. Higashioka hit his second homer of the game on the first pitch in the bottom of the eighth. 

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