Brett Gardner Homers Drive New York Yankees Victories

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffJuly 21, 2017

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 20: Brett Gardner #11 of the New York Yankees hits a solo home run off of starting pitcher Felix Hernandez #34 of the Seattle Mariners during the sixth inning of a game at Safeco Field on July 20, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Brett Gardner took Seattle Mariners starter Felix Hernandez deep in the sixth inning of Thursday's 4-1 victory, breaking a scoreless tie.

Gardner has now cracked 16 home runs this season and the Yankees have gone 13-0 in contests in which he homers. No other player with 15 homers for a single team this season has a perfect team record in games he's hit one out, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com).

The 33-year-old outfielder has served as a staple atop the Yankee's batting order in past seasons, racking up as many as 49 stolen bases in 2011. However, he had never topped double-digit home runs in his career until hitting 17 in 2014.

Although his speed numbers have dropped, tallying no more than 24 stolen bases since 2013, Gardner continues to display improved power at the dish. He's hit 16 over the fence in just 89 games this season, putting him on pace to smash his career high of 17.

The Yankees have struggled mightily since early June, failing to win any of their last 10 series. Fortunately, Gardner's production has translated into success for the team. New York would need to win two of the remaining three games of the series to buck the trend of series losses or draws, but they appear to be on the right track.

General manager Brian Cashman made some recent moves to shore up depth at various spots on the depth chart after trading for Chicago White Sox infielder Todd Frazier and right-handed pitchers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle. The club still owns the second wild card spot and sits just 3.5 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

While things haven't gone well recently, the Yankees still sit in good position to make a postseason push. Gardner and company will take the field Friday evening looking to take the second of the four-game weekend series in Seattle.

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