The New York Yankees took six games and 184 team at-bats to hit a home run — which wouldn't sound that bad if the streak had occurred in the middle of May. But the timing was getting close to historic until Brett Gardner ended the third-longest homer drought to start the season in club history, helping left-hander CC Sabathia and the Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 and head home with a 3-3 record.
Took #Yankees 184 at-bats to hit 1st HR of season, 3rd longest drought to start a season in franchise history (1975: 234, 1990: 229)— Scott Carson (@caRSoN_Stats) April 6, 2014
The Kansas City Royals, who have 164 at-bats collectively through five games, are the only remaining team that has yet to homer. Coming into play Sunday, 111 major leaguers had hit at least one home run — but none played for Yankees or Royals. Gardner, who had eight home runs in 2013 and 23 for his career coming in, wasn't the most likely guy to clear the fence. His was a two-run shot in the fourth against right-hander Drew Hutchsion. Via the Associated Press:
“I don’t think anybody bet on that,” Gardner joked. “Good to get the first one out of the way. I’ve got a feeling we’ll hit a couple in New York.”
Sabathia allowed four earned runs and seven hits over six innings, but he walked none and struck out six. So that's another good sign for the Yankees, who head home for Derek Jeter's final home opener in the Bronx. Jeter said he will retire at season's end.
Jeter, who went 2 for 5 against the Jays, passed Paul Molitor for eighth on the all-time hit list with a single to right field in the fourth inning.
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