NEW YORK — Carlos Gomez was up to his old antics, and that didn’t sit well with the New York Yankees in the middle of a blowout.
Gomez and Evan Gattis both homered and drove in four runs, sending Dallas Keuchel and the Houston Astros to a 15-1 rout that briefly got testy Aug. 25.
Keuchel (15-6) held the Yankees scoreless for the second time this season and became the first 15-game winner in the American League. Gomez busted out of a hitting slump and rankled the Yankees with his flashy style.
“If you misunderstand the way I play the game, it’s your fault,” Gomez said. “I don’t care how the other team feels. I only care how my team feels. And the only thing I know is like, every time I come here, all my teammates love me.”
Gomez jawed with the Yankees after flipping his bat aside in frustration when he flied out in the sixth inning. He turned toward the New York dugout and appeared to say “shut up” several times.
“Some of our guys took exception to it and I think they took even a little more exception when he started yelling at our dugout,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said. “Just got a little heated.”
“I just told him, ‘Play the game right,'” Girardi added. “Show a little professionalism to the pitcher.”
On his way back across the field, Gomez stood nose-to-nose with young catcher John Ryan Murphy before they were separated.
“I don’t mean to disrespect anybody,” Gomez said. “If you’re screaming at me, I’m going to scream at you back.”
Both benches and bullpens emptied, but the teams quickly went their respective ways without any pushing or shoving.
“I don’t think there’s any place for that, especially in a 9-0 game,” Murphy said. “He’s an energetic guy. Everybody knows that. We respect him as a baseball player, just, there’s a right way and a wrong way to play the game.”
His next time up, Gomez launched a three-run homer into the Yankees’ bullpen in right-center to cap a six-run seventh.
It was hardly the first time opponents have been irritated by Gomez and his antics.
Back when he was playing for Milwaukee and current Yankees catcher Brian McCann was in Atlanta, the two got into a scuffle when McCann blocked Gomez’s path to home plate after the slugger styled on a home run.
This time, McCann was on the Yankees’ bench — rested against a lefty starter.
“He’s my friend. It’s in the past,” Gomez said. “Everybody knows what happened in Atlanta, but it’s nothing, nothing about that.”
Gomez flipped his bat and held out his arms when he lined an RBI double during Houston’s five-run first inning against Ivan Nova (5-6). The speedster slid headfirst into second with his first extra-base hit in 18 games and pointed toward his own dugout.
“He’s a guy you love on your team and if he’s on another team, I can see why some guys don’t like him,” Keuchel said. “He’s playing hard and we love that. We’ll enjoy that every game and hopefully he can lead us to a playoff berth.”
Keuchel yielded three hits in seven innings with nine strikeouts and no walks. He struck out 12 in a six-hit shutout at home against the Yankees on June 25.
New York scratched out a run in the ninth this time against Vince Velasquez.
In a lopsided matchup of AL division leaders, the most effective Yankees pitcher was backup infielder Brendan Ryan.
He worked two scoreless innings in his first major league appearance on the mound and was the only New York hurler who didn’t give up multiple runs.
Marwin Gonzalez homered for the Astros, who had 15 hits and batted around three times in the first seven innings after manager A.J. Hinch shuffled his lineup.
Houston, which equaled last season’s total of 70 wins, managed only 17 runs in its previous eight games — no more than three in any of them.
“We needed an offensive outburst like that,” Hinch said.
(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer)