That silence you heard drifting east from Southern California across the country Monday night belonged to the chorus of self-loathing Yankees supporters who foolishly accused them of relying on the home run far too much.
With Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier, Kyle Higashioka and Aaron Judge using their biceps for homers and Gerrit Cole backing the power up with a solid outing, the Yankees cruised by the Rays, 9-3, in Game 1 of the best-of-five ALDS at San Diego’s Petco Park.
Stanton turned a 5-3 lead in the ninth into a 9-3 advantage with a grand slam off a very ineffective John Curtiss.
It was the Yankees’ third win in as many postseason games and without incident between two teams that admit they don’t care much for each other.
Game 2 is set for Tuesday night. The Yankees will start 21-year-old Deivi Garcia and the Rays counter with Tyler Glasnow.
Frazier homered in the third and Judge and Higashioka in the fifth off Blake Snell. Aaron Hicks plated a run in the first off Snell and delivered an RBI single against Curtiss in the ninth for a two-run lead.