Aaron Judge hits TWO home runs to help the Yankees battle back from 6-0 down to beat the league-leading Tampa Bay Rays 9-8
- Judge’s two-run homers were his first since sustaining a sore hip injury in April
- The 2022 AL MVP’s impressive display was his 29th career multihomer game
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Aaron Judge hit his second two-run homer of Saturday’s game in the sixth inning as the New York Yankees rallied from a six-run deficit and then held on for a 9-8 victory over the visiting Tampa Bay Rays
Judge, wearing pink spikes for Mother’s Day weekend, found his stroke following an injured list stint caused by a sore hip. His homers were his first since April 19 and gave him his 29th career multihomer game.
His first home run was a well-travelled 439-foot blast to right center field. It came at the bottom of the fifth, with the Yankees trailing 6-2 to the Rays.
The 2022 AL MVP’s second homer of the day came at the bottom of the sixth, with Tampa Bay hanging on to the lead by just a thread (6-5). Judge’s second homer was a two-run go-ahead blast (7-6) that flew 439 feet into the left-field second deck.
The Yankees ended up winning for the eighth time in 11 games by pulling off their biggest comeback this year.
Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge hits a two-run home run against the Rays in the fifth inning
The 2022 AL MVP’s second homer came at the bottom of the sixth, giving the Yankees the lead
Rays ace Shane McClanahan failed to hold a 6-0, fifth-inning lead, six days after Yankees ace Gerrit Cole squandered a 6-0, fifth-inning advantage in an 8-7, 10-inning loss at Tampa Bay.
In a matchup of All-Star starters, Yandy Díaz hit his first career grand slam in a five-run fifth against Nestor Cortes, the start of a stretch in which 22 of 37 batters reached in a two-and-a-half inning span.
After two home runs from Kyle Higashioka and Judge (his first of two) at the bottom of the fifth, Anthony Volpe reached on a bunt single to the left side off Rays pitcher Ryan Thompson (1-1) starting the sixth.
The Yankees rookie shortstop then sensationally stole second and third, before speeding home on the next pitch when Thompson’s slider was way outside and eluded catcher Francisco Mejía.
Volpe is 13 for 13 in steal attempts, one more than DiMaggio from the start of his career until he was caught at home by Boston on September 25, 1939, as part of a double-steal attempt with Lou Gehrig.
Gleyber Torres walked and Judge then drove his second homer of the day (his eighth of the season) to give the Yankees the lead.
Orlando Cabrera, who entered as a pinch hitter in the fifth, added a two-run single against Javy Guerra on a grounder to right that just eluded diving second baseman Taylor Walls.
Judge is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning
Rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe also got on the board for the Yankees after scoring on a wild pitch thrown and stealing two bases
Randy Arozarena hit a broken-bat, two-run single in the seventh against Clay Holmes after two batters reached off Ron Marinaccio.
Díaz stranded a runner at second in the eighth when he took a called third strike from Holmes in a nine-pitch at-bat, and Wandy Peralta worked around a two-out walk in the ninth, for his second save this season – both in a 19-hour span. Brandon Lowe fouled off six 1-2 pitches before hitting a game-ending flyout.
Jimmy Cordero (3-1) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win. New York is 3-3 against the major league-leading Rays and trails by eight games in the AL East.
McClanahan entered 7-0 with a 1.76 ERA and had not allowed more than two runs in his first eight starts. He allowed four runs, four hits and four walks in four-plus innings.
Cortes gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings and has allowed 15 runs in his last three starts as his ERA ballooned to 5.53. He wore green cleats with the name and picture of Tam Major, a horse Cortes owns.