NEW YORK -- The Yankees settled back in at home Thursday night. With 14 of their final 17 regular-season games set to be played at Yankee Stadium, it was time to get comfortable. It was time, as manager Joe Girardi said, to take advantage of the schedule.
"It starts tonight," Girardi said before the game.
It certainly did. The Yankees scored six times in the first inning and coasted past the Orioles, 13-5, to remain three games behind the Red Sox in the American League East. The Yankees continue to lead the AL Wild Card standings as well.
Todd Frazier hit a three-run home run in the first inning, and Aaron Judge later added a pair of three-run home runs. Gary Sanchez also homered for the Yankees, who won for the fifth time in their last six games. Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka allowed two runs in seven innings and got credit for his 12th win. Counting his seven seasons in Japan and his four seasons in the Major Leagues, it was the 150th win of Tanaka's career.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would make it to 150 wins," he said through an interpreter.
Tanaka said his slider was much better than it had been when he gave up seven runs in four innings last Saturday in Texas. The slider helped him get 27 swings and misses in 102 pitches, the fourth-most of any pitcher in the Major Leagues this season.
Orioles left-hander Wade Miley didn't make it out of the first inning, allowing six runs on six hits and recording just one out.
"It happened real fast. I really did, I felt really good going in. I had a good bullpen session. I thought I made some pretty decent pitches," Miley said. "They just jumped all over me. I tried a few different pitches. Everything I threw up there they hammered."
"You make the pitches that we're making against those guys, at this level, they're going to go a long way," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "I was watching the replays of where we are trying to go and where the ball went. Just not going to work up here."
A malfunction in the Yankee Stadium sound system led to the game beginning without the playing of the national anthem. A pregame tribute to Gene Michael, the former Yankee player and executive, was rescheduled for Friday.
And as the first seven Yankee batters came to the plate, there was no walk-up music.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Thumbs up (or down) for Frazier: Monday at Citi Field, a Rays fan was caught on camera giving a thumbs-down gesture when Frazier hit a three-run home run. So sure enough, when Frazier hit a three-run home run off Miley in the first inning Thursday, the entire Yankees dugout gave him the thumbs-down. Frazier hadn't hit a three-run home run all season before Monday. Now he has two in four days.
This one knocked Miley from the game and gave the Yankees a 6-0 lead. It was just the second time in 194 career starts Miley was unable to finish the first inning. The other was also this season, on May 5 against the White Sox, when he was hit by two line drives.
Judge decides it: Judge's 42nd home run of the season, in the fourth inning off Mike Wright, turned the game into a rout. His 43rd home run, two innings later off Richard Rodriguez, made history. It was Judge's 27th home run at new Yankee Stadium. That tops Curtis Granderson's single-season record of 26, set in 2012. More >>
"You can't go out there and lay an egg like that. I've got to give us a chance and I didn't. It just hurts more, every game right now what we don't get in the win column hurts right now. A first-inning six spot doesn't help." -- Miley, on his outing
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Sanchez's home run was his 31st of the season, a record for a Yankees catcher. Yogi Berra twice had 30 in a season (1952 and 1956), and Jorge Posada hit 30 in 2003.
• Judge made it onto two impressive lists with his home runs Thursday: Judge, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio are the only Yankees with 10 or more home runs in a season against the Browns/Orioles franchise. And Judge, Ruth, Gehrig, Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle are the only Yankees with 27 or more home runs at home in a season.
WHAT'S NEXT Orioles: Right-hander Gabriel Ynoa (1-1, 4.19 ERA) makes his second start of the season Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET, as the Orioles play the Yankees in the second game of this series at Yankee Stadium. In his last big league start, on Sept. 9, Ynoa allowed three runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings. He pitched to a 5.25 ERA for Triple-A Norfolk this season.
Yankees: Right-hander Luis Severino (12-6, 2.96 ERA), who allowed just two hits in seven innings the last time he faced the Orioles, gets the start Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET in the second game of this four-game series at Yankee Stadium. Preview >>