Video: Gary Sanchez helps Yankees close in on MLB home run record

Gary Sanchez
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The Yankees currently sport the highest collective home run total in the league, and thanks to catcher-slugger Gary Sanchez, they’re now within three home runs of the all-time team record in major-league history. At the top of the third inning during Friday’s Yankees-Red Sox opener, Sanchez unleashed a 446-foot bomb off of Boston left-hander Brian Johnson, his 18th of the year and the 261st by a Yankees player in 2018:

The solo home run cleared the Green Monster and helped the Yankees to a 1-0 lead over their AL East rivals. They got an additional boost from Giancarlo Stanton‘s broken-bat RBI single later in the inning, as well as Gleyber Torres‘ smoking two-run fly ball to center field in the fourth.

Sanchez, 25, entered this weekend’s series batting a mere .182/.284/.393 with 17 homers and a .677 OPS through 366 PA this season. While it hasn’t been his most productive year at the plate, especially given his noticeable dip in power, he’s also weathered more than his usual share of injuries and disabled list stints. He missed around nine weeks of the season after rehabbing a persistent groin strain and has yet to heat up as the club prepares to enter their second consecutive playoff run.

As a team, the Yankees will try to eclipse the league home run record when they wrap up their 2018 campaign on Sunday. They’ll need to squeeze another four home runs out of their lineup in order to push past the 264-home run mark set by the Mariners in 1997.