James Paxton continued his winning ways for the Yankees on Saturday, to a point of historic proportions.
Paxton earned the decision in a 13-3 win over the Blue Jays to become just the fourth Yankees pitcher since 1961 to win nine consecutive starts, joining Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry and Mike Mussina. The Canadian native held Toronto to one run and three hits in five innings, with Brett Gardner leading New York’s offensive outburst.
When he wasn’t on the mound, Paxton could sit back and watch Yankees hitters put on a show. They collected 19 hits as a team, including two home runs and a double from Gardner.
Power has never been the primary tool of Gardner’s game. In a 12-year career, he has only surpassed the 20-homer mark twice. Meanwhile, he has stolen 20 or more bases seven times.
But at the ripe age of 36, Gardner is posting record power numbers (including a career-best 25 home runs) that have helped fill some of the void left behind by injured sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Andujar.