ATLANTA — Something had to give, and it wasn’t the Yankees. The Bombers came into a historic matchup against the also scorching-hot Braves and just rolled over them. Giancarlo Stanton, who would not have played a significant role in an interleague game a month ago, homered, doubled and drove in three runs as the Bombers beat the Braves 5-1 at Truist Park.
The Yankees won their 10th in a row, matching their 2020 season high from Sept. 9-19, and improved to a season-high 21 games above .500.
It was just the third time in baseball history and the first time in 120 years that teams riding winning streaks of at least nine games have played each other. The last time was on Sept. 7, 1901, when the Phillies (nine straight) beat the Pirates (10 straight) 4-1, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Yankees (73-52) last lost in the corn fields of Dyersville, Iowa to the White Sox. It was the first loss for the Braves (68-57) since an Aug. 12 loss to the Reds.
A month ago the idea of Stanton contributing in this series — even the two at-bats on Monday night before being double-switched out — would have been unlikely.
Because of a history of leg injuries, the Yankees just stopped playing him in the outfield after the 2019 playoffs. He still missed over half the coronavirus-abbreviated, 60-game 2020 season with leg injuries, but after revamping his workouts and with the Yankees desperately needing some versatility in the designated hitter spot, the Yankees eased him back out there.
Monday night was the 11th start Stanton has made in the outfield this season. Unlike some feared, it has not affected his offense at all. Since taking the field for the first time on July 30, Stanton is hitting .315 with five home runs and 18 RBI.
Monday night was no exception.
Stanton crushed his 21st home run of the season off Huascar Ynoa into the right-field concourse in the second inning. It was his 10th go-ahead home run of the season, tied with Aaron Judge for the most on the team. In the sixth, with the game tied at 1-1, and runners on first and second, Standon ripped a line-drive double into the left-field corner to clear the bases.
WIth three RBI Monday night, Stanton has 64 on the season. He has reached base in 20 straight games, one shy of his career-high from Aug. 4-25, 2018, In this current streak, Stanton is hitting .328 with 13 runs scored, four doubles, five homers and 18 RBI.
Stanton was double-switched out of the game after his double in the sixth to insert reliever Jonathan Loaisiga.
The right-hander turned in his seventh appearance with at least two scoreless innings. Wandy Peralta pitched another and Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect ninth in a non-save situation.
Gary Sanchez singled with two outs and the bases loaded to give the Yankees more cushion.
Jordan Montgomery went five innings holding the Braves to one run, just a Dansby Swanson home run in the bottom of the second. He walked four and struck out two to pick up his fifth win of the season.
The Yankees guaranteed at least a split of this two-game series here and have won their last ten straight. It doesn’t get any easier with this road trip winding through Oakland, where the A’s are itching to make up ground on the wild card-leading Bombers.
“We’re starting a tough road trip, no question about it. as hot as any team right now that we’re playing in Atlanta,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said before the game. “We know Oakland is having a really good year and they’re always tough against us in Oakland, so and then off to Anaheim. So we’ve got an important road trip, a tough road trip an hopefully we can get some wins out of it.”