Aaron Judge’s HR, 3 Hits Lead Yanks to Win. NY 8 Baltimore 3

Aaron Judge hits 20th homer of the year to put Yanks up 3-2 in the 3rd.

In his second game back from the 2-month stint on the IL with the broken toe, Aaron Judge ripped 3 hits including a Homer to lead the Yankees to an easy 8-3 win over the Orioles on a Saturday night in Baltimore.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa got the big hit — a 2-out, 2-strike, bases-clearing double down the left-field corner in the 5th that made a 5-3 game into an 8-3 game.

Giancarlo Stanton and Kyle Higashioka also hit homers, Clarke Schmidt pitched 5 good innings to get the win, and Ian Hamilton and Nick Ramirez each pitched 2 shutout innings in relief.

“Well there’s no question that Aaron’s presence in the lineup is enormous,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “But it’s also a peak into what we think other guys are capable of as well.”

“That’s what it’s supposed to look like right there,”  added Boone. “And that’s what we’re working to. Just up and down. Just so good to see us have that level of at bats. Even in the ones that were not ending with a positive result. Like the at bat before Kiner had the bases-clearing hit, LeMahieu strikes out but it’s the right, tough at bat. And it felt that way all night, where guys were giving really tough at bats. And that’s us and who we want to be and what we’re working to be. And that was really good to see.”

The Yankees improve to 55-49 and pull to within 8 of Baltimore (now 63-41), 6.5 behind Tampa, 3.5 behind Toronto, and 1 behind Boston.

1. Stanton Blast Puts Yanks on Top

Giancarlo Stanton put the Yanks up 1-0 in the top of the 1st with a 427-foot homer to left off Orioles starter Tyler Wells. It was the Yanks first run of the series, having been shut out on Friday night 1-0.

2. Schmidt Gritty

Clarke Schmidt coughed up the lead in the 2nd — a leadoff homer by Ryan Mountcastle tied it, and a double by Adam Frazier followed by a ground out, ground out, and infield single by Ramon Urias made it 2-1 Baltimore.

Aaron Judge and the Yanks pounced back to give Schmidt a 4-2 lead (below), but Schmidt gave a run back in the 5th — a 1-out walk to Adley Rutschman and double by Gunnar Henderson put 2nd and 3rd, 1 out, and a groundout by Anthony Santander scored a run to make it 4-3.

But Schmidt got tough — striking out Ryan O’Hearn on a 3-2 pitch in an 8-pitch at bat to end the inning and strand the tying run on 3rd.

Aaron Boone called Schmidt’s performance “Gritty.”

“I think it’s my 4th time facing these guys, so I had to get a little bit creative and try not to be too predictable with these guys,” said Schmidt afterwards. “Right there towards the end of the game I hadn’t thrown O’Hearn a ton of curveballs. I felt like I was executing some good cutters up but he wasn’t biting on it, so we felt like just going to the chase curveball was the best opportunity for me — because I knew he almost bit on one earlier on the check swing — and we finally got him to go all the way around right there. Just a big moment. Just to be able to get out of that there was a good feeling.”

When the top of the 6th would roll around, NY was up 8-3 so Schmidt was relieved after 96 pitches. He pitched well against the tough Orioles lineup — his line: 5 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 K’s, 1 walk. He wins to go 7-6 4.39.

3. Judge HR Puts Yanks Back on Top

Down 2-1 after 2 innings, the Yanks immediately got back to work against Tyler Wells in the top of the 3rd: Kyle Higashioka singled to lead off, and 1-out later Aaron Judge hit a 442-foot BOMB to left center for a 3-2 Yankee lead. Judge was back at it — terrorizing Camden Yards — blasting the ball way over its pushed-back-by-30-feet left field fence.

4. Yank Offense Keeps Peppering Away

The Yanks chased Tyler Wells later in the 3rd after Judge’s homer — Anthony Rizzo was hit by a pitch (something he is especially adept at) and DJ LeMahieu walked — but Michael Baumann came in to get the final out.

The Yanks got to Baumann in the top of the 4th — Harrison Bader led off with a single and Kyle Higashioka got a 1-out single moving Bader to 3rd, where he scored from on a sac fly by Gleyber Torres.

Suzyn Waldman noted on the radio how the Yankee batters all seemed to be taking a lot more pitches then they had in the recent past, and wondered if this was the influence of new hitting coach Sean Casey.

5. Higgy HR

Higgy was at it again in the top of the 6th: with NY up 4-3, Higgy led off against reliever Cole Irvin with a 428-foot Homer to left. NY 5 Baltimore 3.

6. IKF’s Big At Bat

Still in the top of the 6th, after Higgy’s homer Gleyber Torres struck out but the Yankees big 3 power men — Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Anthony Rizzo — hit consecutive singles to put them all on base with 1 out.

Reliever Bryan Baker came in and struck out DJ LeMahieu with 97-MPH Heat — LeMahieu fouling off a couple of heaters before going down (see Boone’s quote at top of article) for the 2nd out, and bringing up Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

Baker threw Higgy a couple of 85-MPH sliders to jump ahead 0-2. then threw 98-MPH Heat but Higgy fouled off 4 straight pitches.

“He keeps throwing the ball in the same spot, I guess thinking Higgy will finally swing and miss at one,” said Waldman on the radio.

Higgy then took a changeup for ball 2, then a slider low for a 3-2 count.

On the 10th pitch of the at bat Baker threw a rising 96-MPH fastball at the top of the zone and Higgy belted it to left for a double — scoring Judge, and Giancarlo, and Rizzo. NY 8 Baltimore 3.

6. Hamilton & Ramirez 4 Shutout Innings

After that it was all Yankee bullpen — doing a terrific job of shutting down the tough Baltimore lineup.

Ian Hamilton pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th — striking out Adam Frazier and Austin Hays — and a 1-2-3 inning in the 7th — strikeout, ground out, ground out.

Nick Ramirez pitched the 8th and 9th — also getting 6 straight outs: fly out, fly out, ground out in the 8th, and fly out, strike out, ground out in the 9th for the old ballgame.


  • The game was broadcast nationally on Fox, and Kenny Albert — Marv Albert’s son and the voice of the Knicks — did the play by play. He did a great job.
  • Note that in Judge’s first game back from the Injured List (IL) on Friday night, he walked 3 times and hit a line-drive out his 1st time up, going 0-1. He followed that up with 3 hits and the homer in game 2 back.

The Boxscore


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