New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a single during the sixth inning of the team's baseball game against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday, July 3, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Stanton, Hicks, Higashioka homer as Yankees beat Braves 8-5

July 03, 2018 - 11:17 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks and Kyle Higashioka each homered and the New York Yankees went ahead early and hung on to beat the Atlanta Braves 8-5 on Tuesday night.

Aaron Judge had two hits and a walk, and he stole two bases for the first time in his career. Hicks also walked twice as New York drew eight free passes.

The Yankees improved to a major league-best 21-6 against left-handed starters and remain a game behind Boston for the majors' best record.

Nick Markakis and Ender Inciarte each hit two-run homers for Atlanta, which ended a four-game winning streak. The Braves remain atop the NL East but fell behind the Brewers for the best record in the NL.

A night after Atlanta rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. barely cleared the wall to give Atlanta an 11-inning victory, the Yankees took advantage of their cozy stadium.

Hicks continued his home run binge by hitting Sean Newcomb's 95 mph fastball two rows into the right field stands for his 15th of the season and a 2-0 lead in the first. The 15 homers match a career high.

Newcomb (8-3) stood on the mound shaking his head after the ball carried over the fence. The left-hander allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings in the shortest start of his career. Newcomb had posted three straight quality starts but threw a career-high 111 pitches his last time out.

New York scored twice in the third without a hit. Newcomb walked the bases loaded, then walked Brandon Drury to force in a run. Luke Jackson relieved, but he walked Higashioka for another run. Newcomb's five walks matched a career high.

Staked with a six-run cushion, Yankees starter Domingo German tired in the fifth. After Johan Camargo walked, Inciarte crushed a curveball into the stands for his sixth of the season.

Rookie Ozzie Albies homered on the next pitch to draw Atlanta within three. Freddie Freeman and Markakis hit consecutive singles to end German's night.

A.J. Cole, reinstated off the disabled list earlier in the day, struck out Tyler Flowers with the bases loaded to end the threat. Since being acquired from Washington on April 23, Cole (2-0) has allowed one earned run in 14 2/3 innings.

In the eighth, Chasen Shreve relieved with runners on first and second and one out and retired Inciarte and Albies to preserve a one-run lead.

Stanton provided New York with some breathing room, driving Evan Phillips' fastball into the right field corner. The two-run blast was the slugger's 20th of the season, making Stanton the 11th player to hit 20 home runs in each of his first nine major league seasons. Phillips was making his major league debut.

Aroldis Chapman threw a scoreless ninth for his 23rd save. The hard-throwing closer was used in three straight games for the first time this season.

HAILEY'S HANDS

Five-year old Hailey Dawson threw out the ceremonial first pitch with her 3D printed hand created by students at UNLV. Dawson was born with Poland Syndrome, a rare birth defect that left the youngster without the three middle fingers on her right hand. She has been on a quest to throw a first pitch for each MLB team.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Yankees: INF Gleyber Torres (right hip stiffness) was held out of the starting lineup. The sensational rookie "stiffened up" Monday night, according to manager Aaron Boone. Torres entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth. ... RHP Masahiro Tanaka remains scheduled for a rehab start with Triple-A Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Wednesday. Boone is hopeful Tanaka will throw between 65 and 75 pitches. ... C Austin Romine (left hamstring) was held out of the starting lineup for a third straight night. ... Stanton appeared to be shaken up after colliding with the wall on Markakis' home run. Stanton was checked by the training staff one pitch later but remained in the game and made a leaping catch on Kurt Suzuki's long drive to right.

UP NEXT

LHP CC Sabathia (5-3, 3.02 ERA) pitches the series finale for New York. Sabathia allowed just seven earned runs over five starts in June (1.93 ERA) and is 3-1 in four starts against Atlanta. He's opposed by Julio Teheran (6-5, 4.21 ERA), who gave up eight runs in 4 1/3 innings in his only appearance against New York on Aug, 30, 2015.

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