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Yankees hit five home runs in 14-3 victory over Tigers

New York Yankees centerfielder Brett Gardner, designated hitter

New York Yankees centerfielder Brett Gardner, designated hitter Alex Rodriguez and third baseman Chase Headley celebrate the three-run home run by Rodriguez against the Detroit Tigers during the third inning of a baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, June 20, 2015. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The pitches hung lazily in the strike zone, balls dropped where they needed to and men in pinstripes ambled around the bases and across home plate with carefree ease.

Oh, we don't mean Old-Timers' Day. We mean the professional baseball game that came after it.

In keeping with their recent trend of offensive dominance (and of giving starter Nathan Eovaldi more run support than he might ever need), the Yankees shellacked the Tigers, 14-3, Saturday night and continued to show the potential to be one of the most dangerous offensive teams in baseball.

The Yankees scored five runs in the third inning, had 12 runs before Eovaldi went through the order twice and wound up hitting five home runs. They outhit the Tigers 16-2 through five innings and wound up with 18 hits.

The Yankees entered the game having averaged 4.60 runs per game, second only to the Blue Jays. They were helped along by Brett Gardner, who had a triple in the first, a double in the second and a single in the third, and Alex Rodriguez, who notched RBIs in each of the first three innings (the final three of his five RBIs came on a home run in the third).

Carlos Beltran hit solo homers from both sides of the plate and Didi Gregorius and Chris Young also went deep.

The Yankees have hit multiple home runs in 11 of their last 16 home games.

As for Eovaldi, he more than redeemed himself on three days' rest, going six innings-plus and allowing two earned runs and three hits. All three Tigers runs came in the seventh after the Yankees had built a 13-0 lead, scoring in each of the first five innings.

In his previous start, Eovaldi gave up eight earned runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Marlins, his former team. But his low pitch count then (36) meant he was more than ready to go Saturday night, giving Masahiro Tanaka an extra day of rest.

"Just a bounce-back start, that's all," Joe Girardi said. "Just to get him back to before he had the rough outing in Florida."

Girardi was easing the pressure. Also easing the pressure on Eovaldi? Entering the game, he had a 6.65 run-support average, fourth highest in the majors.

Things kicked off quickly as Gardner smacked starter Alfredo Simon's seventh pitch about 385 feet to right-center for a leadoff triple. One out later, A-Rod smoked a shot to third. Andrew Romine made the grab from his knees, but his throw to the plate (which should have beaten Gardner easily) hit Gardner in the back of the helmet and went to the backstop, allowing him to score the first run and A-Rod to reach second.

And so it began.

Gregorius, who hit a second-inning solo homer Friday night, repeated the feat almost exactly, leading off the second with a solo shot to right-center. Later in the inning, Rodriguez's bases-loaded sacrifice fly drove in Stephen Drew.

Beltran led off the third with a homer to right-center, and the Yankees tacked on four more in the inning to knock out Simon. Ian Krol didn't fare much better, allowing a three-run homer to A-Rod, the first batter he faced.

It got to the point that Tigers infielder Josh Wilson took the mound in the eighth -- and watched Young drive his fourth pitch over the fence.


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