OAKLAND, Calif. — After weeks of seemingly playing nothing but tight games, the suddenly resurgent Yankees finally got a laugher on Thursday night against the moribund A’s.
In Giancarlo Stanton’s first game in more than a month, the Yankees won their fourth straight game, beating the last-place A’s, 13-4, in a 20-hit barrage.
They used a pair of four-run innings against former Yankees prospect James Kaprielian to blow the game open by the third inning and finished with their biggest offensive output since they also scored 13 runs in Boston July 17.
Stanton drove in three runs — as did Josh Donaldson — in his return from the IL with left Achilles tendinitis.
“He’s another scary tough presence that a pitcher knows he’s really got to execute against and wears guys down,’’ Aaron Boone said of Stanton, who also walked to score a run.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa said having Stanton back makes it “easier to breathe” as an offense.
Jameson Taillon gave up one run in six innings in front of an announced crowd of 10,876 at Oakland Coliseum.
The victory allowed the Yankees to maintain their 7 ½ game lead over the Rays in the AL East.
The Yankees, in the first game of a 10-game, three-city trip that also takes them to Anaheim and Tampa Bay, opened the scoring in the second, with the rally starting with a walk by Donaldson.
Oswaldo Cabrera followed with a single and Jose Trevino walked before Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a two-run single.
Andrew Benintendi singled before Aaron Judge popped out and Stanton knocked in two with a 117-mph base hit to left in his first game since July 23 to make it 4-0.
“I felt pretty good,’’ said Stanton, who expects to be back at DH on Friday. “I was pretty happy with my at-bats. I was in-and-out of my timing a little bit.”
Taillon gave up back-to-back singles to leadoff the bottom of the inning before retiring the next three to keep the A’s off the board.
And the Yankees offense wasn’t done.
Kaprielian was knocked out after 2²/₃ innings, having allowed a season-high eight runs. Kirby Snead took over and was tagged for a pair of runs in the fourth, as Trevino hit a run-scoring double and Judge drove in another run with a hard comebacker to put the Yankees up 10-0.
They tacked on three more runs in the seventh, with a Donaldson two-run double and a run-scoring double from Cabrera — both of whom had three hits on the night. Bentinendi also had three hits.
Donaldson also remained in the game after taking a ball off his wrist at third base on a hard grounder by Kemp in the fifth.
The A’s scored three runs off Greg Weissert in the right-hander’s MLB debut in the seventh, forcing Lucas Luetge to come in and pitch the final 2²/₃ innings.
Stanton’s presence no doubt helped the offense, as Aaron Boone talked about how much they missed his presence, in addition to his power.
Without Stanton and Matt Carpenter, who remains out with a fractured left foot, the Yankees’ lineup has lost some of its punch.
And the slumps of Rizzo, Donaldson and Gleyber Torres only have exacerbated Stanton’s absence.
But against the hapless A’s, in the midst of a firesale and playing at a nearly empty stadium, the Yankees were too much, from top to bottom.
Every hitter in the Yankees starting lineup other than Judge and Stanton had multiple hits, as the A’s churned through three relievers before they went to infielder Sheldon Neuse, who proved to be their most effective pitcher of the night, retiring all five batters he faced.
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