Yankees are finding their home run strokes

Yankees hitters are starting to clear the fences. They did not hit a home run in their first five games and had only one through the first seven games. You could hardly have called them the Bronx Bombers. Yet getting back to the Bronx has obviously helped.

After getting shut out in long balls in the home opener Monday, the Yankees got two home runs Tuesday and added two more in the second inning Wednesday night. Carlos Beltran launched the first home run of his Yankees career leading off the inning and Kelly Johnson two outs later connected for the second consecutive game.

The long balls were necessary to get the Yankees back in the game because the Orioles had taken a 3-0 lead in the top half of the second on a really long ball by third baseman Jonathan Schoop. Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up a home run to the first batter he faced — Melky Cabrera — in his major league debut last week at Toronto, was victimized again in his Yankee Stadium debut when Schoop clocked one high up inside the left field foul pole for as impressive a homer as you will see.

The Yankees underwent scrutiny in recent years for being dependent on the home run ball with some fans calling for more of a small-ball mentality. Funny how during the five-game homer drought panic was setting in when the Yankees were not reaching the fences on a regular basis.

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