Offense Erupts With 6 Home Runs, Yankees Rout Rangers But Paxton Leaves With Muscle Tightness

James Paxton was removed from his final start before the playoffs after one inning because of a tight muscle in his buttocks, overshadowing six home runs by the Yankees in a 14-7 victory

Paxton had won 10 consecutive starts, a career best. He allowed Danny Santana’s two-run homer in a 21-pitch first. At the end of the inning Yankees manager Aaron Boone, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and head athletic trainer Steve Donahue conferred in the dugout, and Ben Heller relieved in the second.

“I really don’t think it’s anything big at all,” Boone said, explaining his caution. “The next one is too important.”

New York’s postseason plans include a rotation with Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino, scheduled to make his third start Saturday after recovering from a lat injury that had sidelined him since spring training.

Giancarlo Stanton, Cameron Maybin, Brett Gardner, Gio Urshela, Mike Ford and Austin Romine homered in the opener of the final series in the Rangers’ 25-year-old ballpark. The Yankees raised their major league record total to 305, two more than Minnesota.

DJ LeMahieu hit a three-run double that skipped past Willie Calhoun in left field to raise his RBI total to 102, his first time in triple figures.

“I guess my whole career I’ve been pretty envious of guys who could drive in a hundred… I guess that means you’re really helping the team. It’s a good feeling for sure,” LeMahieu told reporters after the game.

The MVP contender is making a strong final argument to win the league’s highest honor; recording the second-most RBI by a Yankees leadoff hitter (92) and raising his season average with runners in scoring position to .392.

Stanton, limited to nine games before coming back from the injured list on Sept. 18, was 3-for-3 with two walks and three RBI, and is 7-for-21 with two homers in seven games since his return.

Ford had a career-best four RBIs, and Gardner extended his career best with his 28th homer.

Urshela, who missed Wednesday’s game in Tampa Bay after he was hit on his left hand by a pitch in the road trip opener, singled in the fourth inning to end an 0-for-19 slide.

Five relievers followed Paxton with a scoreless inning apiece, and Stephen Tarpley (1-0) got his first big league win.

Michael King, a 24-year-old right-hander making his major league debut, was the only New York pitcher to get more than three outs, allowed an unearned run on his error in two innings.


Severino (1-0, 0.00 ERA) has thrown nine scoreless innings in two starts since returning. He got his win in his second start, striking out nine in five innings against Toronto in New York’s final regular-season home game. Texas had not announced a Saturday starter.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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