Higashioka’s 3-HR game fuels Yanks rout of Jays

Higashioka’s 3-HR game fuels Yanks rout of Jays

Backup catcher Kyle Higashioka hit three homers and DJ LeMahieu homered twice as the New York Yankees belted at least six homers in consecutive games for the first time in team history en route to a 13-2 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The Yankees (28-21) matched a season high with their seventh straight win and moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Toronto (26-22) for the fifth seed in the American League. New York also moved to within three games of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East.

Aaron Judge returned from missing all but one game since Aug. 12 due to a right calf strain. Judge finished 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, but his teammates displayed plenty of firepower, collecting seven homers one day after they hit six.

Higashioka joined Mike Stanley (1995) and Bill Dickey (1939) as the third Yankee catcher with a three-homer game. He socked a two-run shot to the loading dock in center field in the third inning, a solo homer to left field in the sixth, and a two-run drive to right field in the seventh.

It was the 32nd three-homer game in team history and first since Gary Sanchez managed the feat as the designated hitter in Baltimore on April 7, 2019.

LeMahieu hit his fifth leadoff homer of the season and added a two-run blast in the fourth.

Clint Frazier, moved to left field to accommodate Judge’s return, also went deep, and Luke Voit hit his major-league-leading 19th homer.

New York’s only run that didn’t come on a homer scored on a Frazier single in the fifth.

Gerrit Cole (6-3) pitched five no-hit innings before Jonathan Villar opened the sixth with a double. Cole allowed one run on three hits with the only run coming when Villar scored on a wild pitch. He struck out eight and walked two.

Joe Panik homered in the ninth for Toronto.

The Blue Jays lost their third straight to the Yankees, who have outscored them 40-10 in those games. In their past four losses, the Blue Jays have been outscored 58-11.

Toronto right-hander Tanner Roark (2-2) gave up six runs on six hits in four innings. He fanned four and walked two. Roark tied a career high by serving up four homers, and his 14 homers allowed are the most in the majors.