NEW YORK – Jason Dominguez hasn’t had much time to explore his new surroundings; Any sightseeing trips to Central Park or Times Square can wait. However, the Yankees prospect has already identified his favorite part of town: the “right field wall.”
In fact, Dominguez and Yankee Stadium really do look alike. The Martian roared again, hitting his first homer in the Bronx as part of a three-hit performance as the Yankees claimed their fifth straight win with a 4-3 victory over the Tigers on Wednesday night.
“I’ve said it before; I think if you work hard, when you get good results, it’s not surprising because of all that work,” Dominguez said through a translator.
DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres, and Oswald Peraza also led their runs as the Yankees improved to 70-69, having won eight of their last nine games to pass . 500 for the first time since August 14 in Atlanta (60-59). They are 6 1/2 games out in the American League Wild Card Chase.
The surge coincided with the Yanks’ white-flag decision in a season that general manager Brian Cashman called a “disaster,” offloading veterans to call up prospects like Dominguez and catcher Austin Wells, both of whom were direct contributors.
Dominguez joined Mickey Mantle (1952) as the only Yankees player to strike out three batters during a five-game span at the age of 20 or younger, and Dominguez did so in his first five games. Domínguez is 7-for-21 (. 333) with five runs, a double, three homers and five RBIs so far.
“It reminds me a lot [Anthony] “He’s very mature and very calm and doesn’t let a moment get too big,” said Yankees starting quarterback Clark Schmidt. “It’s not like he’s out there feeling antsy, trying to get a hit or a homer. He looks very professional. He seems to have that factor.”
Shelley Duncan (2007) is the only other Yankee to score three batters in his first five major league games. Just a week ago, Duncan was filling in for Domínguez’s name as manager of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
“He knows he’s a good player, but I think he has the right level of humility with that as well,” said manager Aaron Boone of Dominguez’s squad. “There’s just an easy way about him. He enjoys playing the game with his teammates. I don’t think he’s overcomplicating that part.” Anxiety is the hitter’s enemy. He doesn’t walk there with much of it.
Domínguez’s third big league explosion came in the third inning, hitting a 110.2 mph line off right fielder Beau Brieske that cleared the right field wall for a solo home run. The 20-year-old added a pair of singles, including his first major league hit from the right side.
Boone said Dominguez “has an opportunity to be dynamic on both sides of the plate.”
“He’s a talented kid. “We saw him in the spring,” said Tigers manager AJ Hinch. “When they appear relaxed right away, you have to pay attention, because he certainly looks fit. He put the ball into play against us. He hit the ball hard. He hit the ball out. So it looks like he’s got off to a good start.”
The Tigers endured an unexpected game, as Giancarlo Stanton kicked off right-footed starter Matt Manning with a linear drive of 119.5 mph to end the first half. Manning fractured and ended his season.
“That ball was absolutely destroyed,” Boone said. “It’s just one of those balls that G hits. Unfortunately, he made Manning really good.
Schmidt allowed three runs and five hits over 6 1/3 innings pitched, had no walks and struck out six for his ninth career win. Partnering with Wells for the first time in a major league game, Schmidt retired the Tigers’ 16 consecutive runs after Kerry Carpenter’s first RBI single.
“It was so much fun,” said Schmidt. ‘There’s a lot of dialogue between the roles, just kind of feeling each other.’ I thought [Wells] You did a really good job just by staying with me. I know it’s hard. You’re trying to get your first hit here at Yankee Stadium, but he was locked up with me all night. We had a really good game plan.”
Greg Wessert scored a groundout in the eighth, making a fastball past Matt Furling to pin the bases loaded.
“I don’t know [that] “I’m just as young as Dominguez and these guys are,” said the 28-year-old Weissert, “but I think everyone wants to win so badly. Everyone wants to make a name for themselves. It brings a little extra energy to the team. Everyone is in good shape now.”
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