NEW YORK (AP) — Rookie Anthony Volpe hit his first career grand slam to cap a seven-run fifth inning and the New York Yankees pulled away for an 11-3 rout of the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday to complete their first series sweep this season.
Heading into a four-game series against the MLB-best Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees have won three straight for the first time this season.
“This is just getting us ready for another big series here with the Rays,” Aaron Judge said. “We were kind of back and forth down there at the Trop (Tropicana Field) and we’re looking forward to it.”
Harrison Bader hit a three-run homer in the first inning that was upheld after a review and DJ LeMahieu added a two-run shot in the fifth. The Yankees hit nine homers in the series.
Volpe, who ended a 0-for-17 skid Tuesday, lost potential hits on sliding catches in his first two at-bats. The shortstop gave the Yankees an 11-2 lead by driving a first-pitch fastball off Rico Garcia 419 feet.
“I knew I got it pretty good, but you never know,” Volpe said. “It was nice to see it go over.”
At 22 years, 12 days, Volpe became the youngest Yankee to hit a grand slam at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s definitely in there,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Volpe’s power. “You go out the front door like he did at 107 or something, that’s a pretty good poke. We know he has power and we know he can hit the ball out to all fields.”
With the Yankees leading 1-0 on Gleyber Torres’ sacrifice fly, Bader hit a drive off Oakland left-hander Kyle Muller (1-3) that just cleared the right field video board.
Oakland right fielder JJ Bleday attempted to make a leaping catch. A fan sitting in the front row appeared to reach over and make the catch. Replays appeared to show the fan’s glove was over the padding of the fence and the homer stood after umpires initiated a review.
“There wasn’t interference in terms of the play with our defender, but it did look as if the glove reached over the wall but really hard to tell,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. “So, I understand why the call stood.”
Bader’s 362-foot drive continued his hot start. He is hitting .429 (12-for-28) in eight games since returning from an oblique injury.
“Out of the box I was thinking double and just really fortunate that it turned out to ultimately be a home run, so that was great for the team,” Bader said.
Anthony Rizzo started New York’s biggest inning this year with an RBI single after Judge opened with a double followed by LeMahieu's and Volpe's homers. Judge finished 3 for 4 with two runs scored.
Carlos Pérez and Jace Peterson hit back-to-back homers off New York starter Jhony Brito in the second inning as Oakland dropped to an MLB-worst 8-30. The A’s dropped their eighth straight in the Bronx, their longest skid since also losing eight straight from July 15, 1982 to May 30, 1983.
Bleday homered in the seventh off Deivi García, who pitched the final three innings in his first major league appearance since May 29, 2021, and got his first career save. García was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after the game.
Brito allowed two runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He left after Brent Rooker doubled and Jimmy Cordero (2-1) got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
Muller, who got Oakland’s first win by a starting pitcher in its 33rd game Friday in Kansas City, allowed six runs and five hits in four innings.
Athletics: OF Ramón Laureano remained in concussion protocol. Laureano left Monday night’s game in the first inning after his neck and shoulder hit the right-field fence hard when he made a leaping catch to take away a home run from Torres . … RHP Adrian Martinez (strained right elbow) threw 1 2/3 innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain) allowed one run and two hits over 3 1/3 innings while throwing 49 pitches in a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Severino’s next rehab start will likely occur next Tuesday. … OF Aaron Hicks (left hip tightness) was feeling better after leaving Tuesday’s game in the fourth inning.
Athletics: Start a four-game series at home against the Texas Rangers. Oakland did not announce a starter for Thursday and will face RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 3.22 ERA)
Yankees: Domingo Germán (2-2, 4.35 ERA) opens a four-game series against Tampa Bay on Thursday.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports