Judge, Soto, Rizzo Homers Power Yanks. NY 7 Oakland 3

Aaron Judge, Juan Soto, and Anthony Rizzo hit homers, and Clarke Schmidt pitched shutout ball into the 6th as the Yankees beat Oakland 7-3 on a Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Judge’s homer came in the same at bat that he struck out in — pitcher Joe Boyle was called for a balk on the pitch so Judge was given another chance. With the count still 1-2, he hit a 97-MPH four-seam fastball into the seats in right for a 2-0 Yankee lead in the 2nd.

Rizzo’s homer came in the 5th to give Schmidt a 5-0 lead.

Schmidt was cruising until he allowed a walk, double, and homerun with 1 out in the 6th to make it a 5-3 game. Yet another game where Schmidt was lights-out until the 6th inning, prompting this Tweet of the Day from Yankee fan Stanzo: “Clarke Schmidt vs the 6th inning remains one of the game’s greatest rivalries.”

But Luke Weaver came on and pitched 2.2 shutout innings, the Yankees tacked on insurance runs including a solo homer by Juan Soto in the 6th, and Ian Hamilton pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th for the save.

“I don’t think it’s mental,” said manager Aaron Boone afterwards about Schmidt’s battle with the 6th inning. “I think it’s again execution. His confidence serves him well, but you got to have some humility within that too, and know that these are good hitters coming back around, and execution becomes key. So… you know.. he’ll get there.”

NY improves to 17-8 and remains in 1st place in the AL East. Oakland falls to 9-16. There is one game left — tonite — in the 4-game series.

1. Judge 2nd-Chance Homer

The Yanks were up against 24-year-old, 6’7 righty Joe Boyle, who throws 98-MPH heat but came in with a 1-3 7.23 record. He was 2-0 1.69 in 3 starts (10 innings) at the end of last year for Oakland, and as Suzyn Waldman said on the broadcast, he has the kind of stuff you give all the chances in the world to.

Boyle struck out Volpe to begin the ballgame, but Juan Soto worked a walk. Boyle went 1-2 on Aaron Judge and then struck him out on a called strike — but the ump ruled a balk — saying Boyle had stopped his windup then started again. So the pitch was negated and Judge came back up to the plate with a 1-2 count.

And Judge promptly rocked a 97-MPH heater over the right field wall — a Judge-patented opposite field homer.

2. Wells & Volpe Ignite 2-Run Rally in 4th

The Yanks loaded the bases on Boyle in the 3rd but didn’t score (Aaron Judge single, error allowing Rizzo to get on, Alex Verdugo walk, but Oswaldo Cabrera pop out to shortstop) — and Boyle’s night was done.

Michael Kelly came in to pitch the 4th and the Yanks pounced: Austin Wells led off with a bunt single, and Anthony Volpe tripled him home. NY 3 Oakland 0.

Juan Soto plated Volpe with a sac fly to center and it was 4-0 Yankees.

3. Rizzo HR Makes It 5-0

Anthony Rizzo led off the 5th by going down and getting an 83-MPH sweeper from Kelly and hitting a BOMB to right for a 5-0 Yankee lead.

4. Schmidt Shutout Into 6th

Meanwhile Clarke Schmidt was CRUISING — using a FILTHY 94-MPH sinker, 91-MPH cutter, 86-MPH sweeper, 88-MPH changeup, and 85-MPH knuckle curve to blow through the Oakland lineup.

Schmidt was so good even teammate Marcus Stroman tweeted “Boy if Filthy.”

Until the 6th, when he hit the leadoff batter with a pitch, allowed a double to Tyler Nevin, and then after striking out JJ Bleday, allowing a 3-run homer to Brent Rooker. NY 5 Oakland 3.

5. Weaver Great

Luke Weaver came in and did an amazing job — striking out the last 2 batters of the 6th, and then pitching a shutout 7th and 8th — retiring the side in order in both innings, including a fly out, fly out, fly out 8th inning. Weaver retired all 8 batters he faced.

6. Soto HR Pads Lead

Juan Soto added an insurance homer in the bottom of the 6th with a high drive to center that just made it over the centerfield wall, taking JJ Bleday’s glove with it.

7. Even Gleyber Got a Hit

It was a banner night for Yankee hitters — Judge got 2 hits to raise his average to .191, Anthony Volpe got 2 hits to raise his average to .293, Austin Wells went 2-3 with a walk to raise his average to .132, Rizzo got 2 hits to raise his average to .242, and even the slumping Gleyber Torres got a hit to raise his average to .189.

In the 7th, Giancarlo Stanton led off with a single, Rizzo singled, and Gleyber reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Alex Verdugo hit a sac fly for a 7-3 Yankee lead.

8. Hamilton With the Save

Ian Hamilton came in and pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 9th — foul out, fly out, line out — for the old ballgame.

The Boxscore


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