Yankees News, 8/22: Andrew Velazquez puts the cherry on top, Gerrit Cole strong, Voit is on fire

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The New York Yankees are currently on a nine-game winning streak, dominating their opponents with offensive efficiency and solid defense. Over their last three games against the Minnesota Twins, the Yankees have recorded 24 total runs and given up eight, showcasing just how amazing their turnaround has been.

On Saturday, the Bombers featured Gerrit Cole on the mound, who picked up the win, allowing five hits and zero earned runs over 6.0 innings pitched. He currently holds a 2.92 ERA on the season, and after struggling before testing positive for COVID-19, it seems as if he’s turned things around with the rest of the team.

With the offense finally picking things up, the Bombers combined for eight hits and seven runs on Saturday, with Giancarlo Stanton, Tyler Wade, and Luke Voit posting two hits apiece. Voit has been on an absolute tear since returning from the injured list, recording nine hits over his last five games, including three doubles, two homers, and 11 RBIs. He struck out just four times during that sample size, representing a tremendous addition to the team after the Yankees traded for Anthony Rizzo to take over at first base.

Voit‘s injury forced general manager Brian Cashman to make a move at first, and with Giancarlo Stanton playing in the outfield once again, the team has featured Luke in the designated hitter spot, which has allowed him to operate purely as a hitter. On the season, he has elevated his average to .266 with seven homers and 28 RBIs, including a .790 OPS.

The combination of Rizzo and Voit is deadly, and it seems both sluggers are complementing one another instead of creating animosity. One low-key infielder who has provided a spark is Andrew Velazquez, who picked up one hit and scored a run in the victory over Minnesota.

The cherry on top of the cake was a solo homer by Velazquez and the eighth inning, his first in pinstripes. The Bronx native has been waiting for this moment his entire life, as his family shed tears in the outfield as the ball flew over the fence. This team feels rejuvenated and is undoubtedly headed toward a playoff appearance. However, they remain 4.0 games back in the AL East and have taken a two-game lead over the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Socks in the Wild Card.