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Yankees blast back Gray and gain in AL East race

The offensive philosophy that Gene Michael always encouraged the Yankees to follow involved finding players who could make pitchers work, steal an occasional base and slug home runs. When they did all three in the first inning of Thursday’s 9-1 victory over the Orioles, manager Joe Girardi remarked that they’d just witnessed “a Stick special.”

Wearing black armbands on their left jersey sleeves to mourn the passing of the longtime player, scout, manager and general manager, the Yankees hit four homers — including Aaron Judge’s 39th, reclaiming a share of the American League lead — as they supported Sonny Gray’s solid effort and notched their first series victory in Baltimore since September 2013.

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