NEW YORK (AP) — DJ LaMahieu moved into position to become the first player to earn undisputed batting titles in both leagues, Luke Voit hit his major league-leading 22nd homer and the New York Yankees rediscovered their power in a 11-4 win over the Miami Marlins on Saturday.
LaMahieu posted his fourth four-hit game and three RBIs while raising his average to .359, passing Washington’s Juan Soto (.351) for the major league lead and opening a large margin over defending AL batting champion Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox, who began the day in second in the AL at .337.
LeMahieu won the 2016 NL batting title with a .348 average for Colorado. The only player to win batting titles in both leagues was Ed Delahanty, who hit .410 for the Philadelphia Phillies to win the NL championship in 1899. He is credited by some researchers as winning the AL championship at .376 for the 1902 Washington Senators, while others credit Nap Lajoie with that title for hitting .378 despite lacking the plate appearances required in more modern times.
A 32-year-old infielder in his second season with the Yankees, LeMahieu will become New York’s first batting champion since Bernie Williams in 1998. LeMahieu was sidelined in summer camp after testing positive for COVID-19, then was sidelined for 10 games in August by an injured left thumb. He can become a free agent after the World Series.
Voit hit a three-run drive against Nick Vincent in a seven-run sixth inning that staked New York to a 10-3 lead. He moved three ahead of Jose Abreu of the White Sox for the big league lead in homers.
Acquired from St. Louis in July 2017 for pitchers Chasen Shreve and Giovanny Gallegos plus $1 million in international signing bonus pool allocation, Voit has played with an injured foot for most of this season. An abdominal injury sustained in London on June 29 last year hampered him during the second half of last season and required surgery. Still, he has made 38 consecutive starts, including 19 straight at first base.
Yankees rookie Deivi Garcia (3-2) allowed four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and a walk.
New York trailed 3-0 before Tyler Wade’s two-run homer in the fifth against Ryan Stanek, and Aaron Hicks had a two-run homer in the sixth against former Yankee Stephen Tarpley (2-2) for a 5-3 lead.
Preparing for a first-round playoff series on the road, the Yankees (33-26) are trying to hold off third-place Toronto (31-27) and keep the No. 5 seed. New York’s season has flowed and drifted like the tide: a 16-6 start, following by a 5-15 slide, a 10-game winning streak and five losses in a six-game span coming in.
Wade’s homer ended the Yankees’ first five-game homerless streak since April 1-5, 2014. They have not gone six straight without a home run since July 19-27, 2013.
Giancarlo Stanton was in was in a 1-for-21 slide with 12 strikeouts before his RBI double to the left-center gap in the fifth that drove in Aaron Judge with the tying run.
Wade bunted to move up two runners ahead of LeMahieu’s two-run double in the sixth, the first sacrifice for the Yankees since pitcher James Paxton had a pair on July 2, 2019. Milwaukee, Cincinnati and Tampa Bay remain with no sacrifices this year.
Four regulars were rested by the Marlins, a day after they clinched their first playoff berth since 2003: center fielder Starling Marte, left fielder Corey Dickerson, first baseman Jesus Aguilar and third baseman Brian Anderson.
Miami (30-29) was coming off an NL-worst 57-105 record last year, the first team to reach the playoffs a year after losing 100 games. The accomplishment was even more remarkable given 18 Marlins were forced off the field because of a COVID-19 outbreak following the opening series in Philadelphia, causing the team to have an eight-day layoff.
Miami made 174 roster moves during the season, and just six players remained on the active roster from the season’s start to finish. Marlins CEO Derek Jeter telephoned congratulations to manager Don Mattingly and baseball operations staff, and also sent an email to their entire front office.
Miami used its speed to take a 3-0 lead in the third. Monte Harrison singled leading off and scored from first when he ran on the pitch and Miguel Rojas lined the ball to center. Rojas sprinted into second with a double and scored when Jon Berti looped a single to center. Berti stole second and came home on Matt Joyce’s two-out, broken-bat single.
LeMahieu made an error at second, New York’s 48th error in 59 games. The Yankees entered with a .976 fielding percentage, their lowest since 1973.
Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres got the day off, a day after he made his ninth error, tied for the major league high among shortstops.
RHP Clarke Schmidt (0-0, 7.71 ERA) makes his first big league start and third appearance in the regular-season finale, RHP Jose Urena (0-3, 6.00) starts for Miami.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports