Yankees' Hicks hits second inside-the-park homer of season

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Aaron Hicks became the first New York Yankees player with multiple inside-the-park home runs in a single season since Mickey Mantle in 1958 in an 8-3 victory over the Royals in Kansas City on Saturday.

Hicks, batting right-handed, drove a 3-1 pitch from Royals starter Danny Duffy off the top of the right-field wall to lead off the third inning.

Jorge Soler leapt for the catch but crashed into the wall and fell to the ground, the ball squirting toward center field as Hicks rounded the bases to home.

It was the 108th inside-the-park homer at Kauffman Stadium.

Hicks, who had an inside-the-park homer on April 13 at Detroit, was grinning as he crossed home plate, where he was congratulated by teammate Aaron Judge.

Hicks said that when his blast left his bat, he thought it might clear the wall.

"I thought the trajectory was right. Just a little short," he said, although he wasn't unhappy with the inside-the-park homer or to have his name inscribed alongside that of Yankees legend Mantle, who had three inside-the-park home runs in '58.

"When you are running around the bases, that's really enjoyable," he said. "Any time you hear your name mentioned with Mickey Mantle, it means you are doing something right."