Austin hits half of six homers for RailRiders
A trio of home runs had Tyler Austin in awe Friday night, and they weren't the three he hit.
"I don't think I've ever seen that in my Minor League Baseball career or even just my baseball career in general," Austin said. "The back-to-back-to-back, that was awesome to be a part of."
But before that extraordinary feat, the Yankees outfielder/first baseman delivered three longballs over six innings. In the 10th frame, Donovan Solano, New York's No. 2 prospect Aaron Judge and third-ranked Gary Sanchez tallied the eventual game-winners in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's 8-5 win over Pawtucket at McCoy Stadium. Austin plated five runs.
"For me tonight, it was basically just go up there and not trying to do much and put my 'A' swing on the ball," the 24-year-old said. "I was just fortunate that a few of them went out of the park."
Austin jump-started the RailRiders offense with a three-run shot to right field in the first inning off Red Sox starter Roenis Elias.
"The first two pitches were fastballs in, and my approach against him was get something out over the plate," Austin said. "Third pitch was fastball away and I just hit it out of the park."
Pawtucket responded with two runs in the third, but Austin provided some cushion in the fourth when he took Elias deep again, this time going to left-center to give Scranton/Wilkes-Barre a 4-2 lead.
"To be honest, I didn't even know it was gone at the time," Austin said. "I got another fastball out over the plate and just put a good swing on it."
The Georgia native, who had tallied just three home runs this year in the International League since getting promoted on June 4, doubled that total in the sixth when he teed off on a solo shot to right against Elias.
"I couldn't believe that it happened," Austin said. "I had never done that before. It's just a cool experience for me to do something like that."
It marked the third three-homer game in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre history after Gary Bennett in 1998 and Zoilo Almonte in 2014.
But another trifecta of home runs was going to get Austin even more excited.
With score tied, 5-5, in the 10th, Solano jumped on the first offering from Red Sox reliever Robby Scott and sent it over the left-field wall. Four pitches later, Judge did the same for his 14th home run on the season before Sanchez blasted a 1-2 offering from Scott.
"Everybody was beyond excited," Austin said. "We all wanted to come here tonight and get a win. For those guys to do that, it was awesome. You don't get to see that too often and for the game to happen to go that way in the end, that was fun to be a part of."
Austin is getting his second run with the RailRiders after he hit .260 with four home runs and 29 RBIs over 50 games with Double-A Trenton to start the year. The 2010 13th-rounder slashed .235/.309/.311 over 73 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre last season.
"Last year, I just went up without a consistent approach and it didn't work out well for me," he said. "This year I'm just trying to stay within myself and not trying to do too much, have consistent at-bats and go from there."
Solano and Sanchez each had two hits. Matt Wotherspoon (1-0) picked up the win while allowing one run on two hits and three walks over three innings of relief. Starter Luis Severino surrendered four runs on nine hits and one walk over six frames while Conor Mullee picked up his sixth save with a scoreless bottom of the 10th.
Rusney Castillo collected three RBIs for Pawtucket.
Michael Peng is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MichaelXPeng.