With the postseason fast approaching, the Yankees were looking for two important bounce-back performances on Saturday: one from a lineup that hadn’t homered in five games and another from Deivi Garcia, who was coming off his worst outing in the majors.
They got both.
By the end of their 11-4 romp over the Marlins in The Bronx, the Yankees had a much different feel than when the day started, having dropped three straight and five of six.
They overcame a three-run deficit, started by Tyler Wade’s two-run shot to get them on the board in the fifth and a seven-run sixth.
“Any spark to get us going, especially with the last game [Sunday],’’ said Wade, whose blast ended the Yankees’ longest homer-less streak since 2014. “We know who we have in that room.”
Wade’s homer was the first of three in two innings, as Aaron Hicks’ two-run shot an inning later gave the Yankees their first lead and Luke Voit’s league-leading 22nd later in the inning put the game away in the seven-run sixth.
“It’s been a struggle here this week,’’ Aaron Boone said. “For us to come out and pour it on is good. These guys know there’s much bigger fish to fry. No matter how we go into the playoffs, we can beat anyone.”
They certainly looked capable of that during the latter part of Saturday’s game, as Voit and DJ LeMahieu continued to produce and Giancarlo Stanton provided a booming, game-tying double, perhaps evidence he might be ready to begin hitting.
Garcia played an important role in the comeback.
The 21-year-old was coming off a rough outing in Boston, when he allowed six runs in three innings.
He struggled in the third inning Saturday, when he gave up three runs — though he was hurt by a pair of bloop run-scoring singles.
But he mostly held the Marlins down and gave the Yankees’ lineup time to wake up.
With Gary Sanchez behind the plate again, the 21-year-old used more of his arsenal than he did against the Red Sox and it paid dividends.
“I wanted to be aggressive,’’ Garcia said through an interpreter. “I wanted to have the ability to execute pitches, especially in certain situations and not show any weakness out there.”
After calling his outing in Boston a learning experience, Garcia said he got together with Sanchez in the days following that start to formulate a different game plan for Saturday.
“I kept thinking about which way I wanted to attack them,’’ Garcia said. “One thing I thought about was to use the slider and curveball.”
He left a runner on first with two outs in the seventh and Adam Ottavino allowed the inherited run to score, but it was a solid showing from Garcia, who fanned seven and walked only one — the final batter of his 103-pitch outing.
In the coming days, Boone and his staff will determine who will start after Gerrit Cole and Masahiro Tanaka pitch the first two games of the wild-card series.
J.A. Happ would figure to be the favorite, but Boone said both Happ and Garcia will “play an important role if we’re gonna go far.”
They’ll be looking for more days like Saturday from their lineup. If that happens, the Yankees’ recent struggles will be a memory. If not, they could face a short postseason.
“I don’t think it matters who we play,’’ Voit said. “I think we’re a tough matchup for anybody we face. When we get in the playoffs, anything can happen.”