The Yankees hung five, then enjoyed a day at the beach.
After a tone-setting five-run first inning, the Yankees continued to pile on early and often to finish off a three-game sweep of the Cubs in emphatic fashion with an 18-4 laugher of a win on Sunday afternoon in The Bronx.
With eight of their nine starters recording at least one hit — and six enjoying multi-hit days — the Yankees (44-16) won for the 11th time in their last 12 games. Their offense has fueled them lately, scoring eight runs or more in four of their last six games — including a season-high 18 runs Sunday on a season-high 17 hits.
Matt Carpenter, a late addition to the lineup for an under-the-weather Gleyber Torres, led the offensive onslaught by going 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs, a double and seven RBIs. In 10 games since signing with the Yankees in late May, after requesting his release from the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate, the veteran Carpenter has eight hits — six of which are home runs.
For good measure, with a 13-run lead in the eighth inning, Carpenter made a diving stop at third base to throw out a runner at first, capping off a fine day for the former Cardinal.
Kyle Higashioka, another late lineup replacement for Jose Trevino (back), also chipped in by hitting his first two home runs of the year.
The Cubs’ greatest feat of the weekend proved to be holding the Yankees to two runs through 13 innings Friday night. The floodgates burst open from there, as the Yankees piled up 26 runs over the final two games to clinch the sweep.
Jameson Taillon was not overly sharp, but had a huge lead to pitch with for most of his five innings of work. The Cubs (23-36) chipped away for three runs on seven hits, but Taillon did his most important job: got his offense back in the dugout fairly quickly so they could keep inflicting more damage.
The Yankees actually trailed briefly on Sunday — the only time this series — as potential summer trade target Ian Happ took Taillon deep for a solo home run in the top of the first inning.
The Cubs’ lead didn’t last long, though.
Aaron Judge led off the bottom of the first with a single before Cubs right-hander Keegan Tompson walked three straight batters with one out to tie the game. Isiah Kiner-Falefa then put the Yankees ahead for good with a two-run double.
After a dropped pop-up by Cubs third baseman Patrick Wisdom allowed the rally to continue, Joey Gallo roped a two-out, two-run double for the 5-1 lead that knocked Thompson out of the game.
Carpenter delivered his first home run of the day in the second inning, a three-run shot to right field that made it 8-1.
After Higashioka led off the third inning with a homer, Gallo walked and came around to score on Giancarlo Stanton’s RBI double for the 10-1 lead.
Carpenter went deep again in the sixth inning, a two-run shot to right field. He became only the second player since 1900 to have six of his first seven hits of a season be home runs.
The Yankees put up another five spot in the seventh inning against reliever Sean Newcomb before the Cubs had first baseman Frank Schwindel pitch the eighth. Higashioka greeted him with a homer that capped off the scoring attack.