Judge HR, Soto 3-RBI Double, & Cortes Pitching Carry Yanks in the Rain. NY 5 Detroit 2

Aaron Judge remains Red Hot, smacking a solo Homer in the 1st, and a double in the 6th against the Major League’s hottest pitcher, Detroit’s Tarik Skubal, who came in with a 4-0 1.72 record.

Nestor Cortes meanwhile, out-dueled Skubal, and left the game with a 2-0 lead in the 7th, with 2 runners on. But Ian Hamilton blew the hold, and the baton was passed back to the Yankee offense, specifically to Juan Soto, who won the game for NY with a bases-clearing, 3-RBI double in the 7th to put the Yanks ahead 5-2.

Dennis Santana pitched a shutout 8th, and got the win as the game was called in the bottom of the 8th inning due to rain.

On a wet, cold Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, a very light rain falling from the beginning and getting heavier the last 2 innings.

“The last 2 innings were pretty bad,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards. “Puddles were forming. When we had the bases loaded, that line drive that Duggie hit that (Andrew) Chafin caught, even (umpire) Alan (Porter) came in and said it’s pretty bad out there — the puddles and stuff. Watching guys move down the line it was rough.”

NY sweeps the 3-game series against Detroit, and improves to 23-13, but remain a game behind Baltimore for 1st place in the AL East. The Tigers fall to 18-16.

1. Judge HR Off Skubal Kicks Off Scoring

Aaron Judge has raised his batting average from .174 to .220 over the last 13 games, during which he’s gone 14-46 for a .304 average — and that includes an 0-14 stretch in the middle of the streak.

In this game he was facing the hottest pitcher in baseball in Skubal, and with 2 outs in the bottom of the 1st, Judge hit the 3rd pitch to him — a 97 MPH fastball, over the right field wall 399 feet away for a 1-0 Yankee lead.

2. Cabrera RBI Double in 2nd Gives NY 2-0 Lead

The Yanks got to Skubal some more in the bottom of the 2nd, with consecutive 1-out singles by Gleyber Torres and Jon Berti. Skubal struck out Jose Trevino, but Oswaldo Cabrera got him with an opposite field single to right for a 2-0 Yankee lead.

After that Skubal — known for his 98-MPH heat, tough slider, and newly developed magnificent curveball — settled down and ripped through the Yankee lineup, striking out the side in the 3rd, 2 more in the 4th, and 2 more in the 5th (after a Cabrera single).

Aaron Judge led off the 6th with a booming double to centerfield, but Skubal reared back and struck out Giancarlo Stanton, Alex Verdugo, and Gleyber Torres.

Skubal left after 6 innings, with 12 strikeouts and the 2 runs on 6 hits.

3. Cortes Brilliant

Meanwhile Nestor Cortes was out-dueling Skubal — pitching a 1-hit shutout into the 7th with 8 strikeouts, and leading 2-0.

4. Hamilton Blows the Hold

But Nestor tired in the 7th — allowing a leadoff single to Mark Canha, then after striking out Riley Greene for his 9th K, allowing a single to catcher Jake Rogers.

Boone came out and relieved Nestor at 97 pitches, bringing in Ian Hamilton.

Hamilton has not been right lately, and he wasn’t right in this game, in the steady light rain and cold temps. He immediately allowed a double to left by Spencer Torkelson, making it a 2-1 game with runners on 2nd and 3rd and only 1 out.

Hamilton then walked Colt Keith to load the bases, but got Javier Baez to hit a slow grounder to shortstop — too softly hit on the wet ground to get the double play. The Yanks got an out at 2nd but Baez was safe at 1st and the run scored tying the game.

Victor Gonzalez came in and got Kerry Carpenter to ground out to strand the runner on 3rd, and keep the game at 2-2. Phew.

5. Soto Clears the Bases

Skubal was gone after 6 innings and the Yanks POUNCED on the Tiger pen.

Shelby Miller came in walked Jon Berti and allowed a single to Jose Trevino. Oswaldo Cabrera struck out, but Anthony Volpe walked to load the bases with 1 out.

Andrew Chafin came in, and Juan Soto greeted him with a bases-clearing double to right for a 5-2 NY lead.

The Yanks continued to put pressure on Chafin after the Soto double — Aaron Judge walked, and Giancarlo Stanton singled to load the bases again. But Alex Verdugo lined back to the pitcher after fouling off fours straight 2-2 pitches to work the count to 3-2, and then reliever Alex Lange came in and got Gleyber Torres on a line out.

Verdugo slipped in the mud on his line out — which caused the umps to send out the grounds crew to put extra dirt in the muddied infield as the rain continued steadily.

6. Santana Gets the Win

Dennis Santana pitched a shutout top of the 8th, allowing a 1-out single but striking out 2 — and then the umps had the tarp put on.

After 45 minutes they called the rest of the game due to rain, and the Yanks had the win.

The Boxscore



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