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Aaron Judge It felt like he was “stuck” on 29 home runs for “a while”.
Of course, “a while” is a relative term when it comes to new York Yankees The kind of drought that the bribery judge considered was actually a duration of four games.
A powerful swing got the judges back on track and helped the Yankees get off to the second half of their schedule with a bang.
Judge sent a laser to left-field seats in the eighth inning for his third career Grand Slam – and 30th homer of the season, in most majors – as New York drilled Pittsburgh Pirates 16-0 on Wednesday night to split their Interleague set of two matches.
Aaron Hicks later added an innings Grand Slam of his own in one night, when the Yankees scored a total of six home runs to take his team to a major league-leading 139.
Giancarlo StantonJosh Donaldson, Joey Gallo and Kyle Higashioka also went to New York to support Luis Severino.
“Sports like this help get people rolling,” the judge said. “The guys had good batsmen, put a few balls in the gap and suddenly people would go off for a month or two, or even for the rest of the season.”
This is a zone judge who appears to be from day one. The outfielder seemed worth every penny, with Yankees boss Hal Steinbrenner conceding that a record contract may be in place to prevent Judge hitting free agency next winter. He finished with three of New York’s season-high 22 hits, becoming the first Yankees player to reach the 30-homer plateau before the All-Star break twice in his career.
It’s a number that left New York manager Aaron Boone shaking his head.
“It’s hard for me to relate to that,” said Boone, who never scored more than 26 home runs in a season during his 12-year career. “So it’s been pretty impressive, whatever – halfway here – The kind of baseball he’s playing. Obviously the power has been there.”
Hicks cleared the bases in the ninth when he went deep against Pirates utility infielder Josh VanMeter, who was making his third relief appearance of the season.
“It looks like any of those guys could kill Homer at any time,” VanMeter said. “You just go out there and throw strikes and whatever happens, really. You’re not competing there. You’re just trying to save some pitchers’ arms and take them.”
Severino (5-3) allowed four hits in six major innings, scoring three runs without a walk to secure his first win in more than a month. The right-hander struck 12 straights and 18 of the last 20 hitters to start the bottom of the first by giving a single to Kevin Hayes and a double to Brian Reynolds.
The win ended a two-game skid for New York, which began the second half of the season with the same recipe that propelled the Yankees to the best record in the majors and the second-best start in franchise history through 81 games: Dominant start pitching and plenty of power.
After using some short ball to take a 2-0 lead in the fourth thanks to a hit-and-run and stolen base, Donaldson and gallo In the sixth, in the span of three pitches, Mitch Keller (2-6) was taken deep twice and opened it.
New York was just getting started, adding one in seventh, then five in eighth and six in ninth, improving 3-3 on a four-city, 10-game road trip.
“It’s hard to put this lineup down,” said Pirates manager Derek Shelton. “You don’t see it happening very often. They score a lot of runs and (the judges) are the catalyst for that.”
Reynolds had two of Pittsburgh’s four hits, but the Pirates could muster little against Severino and three New York relievers.
Keller worked six innings in and out of trouble, running on a season-high 10 hits and allowing four runs with seven strikes. By the time New York overwhelmed Pittsburgh’s overtaxed bullpen, it was long gone.
Yankees: 1B . Held Anthony Rizzo Left out of the lineup for the second consecutive game due to a back stiffness. Boone indicated that Rizzo will likely miss Thursday’s game in Boston as well.
Pirates: Greg Allen (hamstrings) was scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment in Class A Bradenton. Allen, claimed exemption from the Yankees last fall, hasn’t played the entire season.
on the move
The Yankees reinstated reliever Miguel Castro from the banned list and named reliever Ryan Webber to the assignment.
Pittsburgh reinstates reliever Yerry de los Santos from the COVID-19 list. The Pirates opted for the Cam Vieques reliever for Triple-A Indianapolis and designated reliever Austin Bryce for the task.
Yankees: Head to Boston For the first time this season they begin a four-game weekend series at Fenway Park on Thursday night. In the opener, Gerrit Cole (7-2, 2.99 ERA) will face Boston’s Josh Winkowski (3-2, 3.12).
Pirates: Play a day-and-night doubleheader in Cincinnati on Thursday.