Aaron Judge has given the Yankee Stadium faithful plenty of thrills by launching 28 of his American League-leading 44 homers at home this season. The 25-year-old rookie aims to continue the power surge and reach base for the 15th straight game on Tuesday as the New York Yankees vie for a series victory over the visiting Minnesota Twins.
Judge belted his fifth homer in eight contests in Monday’s 2-1 victory for New York, which has won 13 of its last 18 games and resides three games behind AL East-leading Boston. Brett Gardner, who is 7-for-15 against Minnesota this season, collected three singles in the series opener and carries a nine-game hitting streak into Tuesday’s tilt versus right-hander Jose Berrios. The Twins, who have dropped three of their last four contests after winning six of their previous eight, sit 1 1/2 games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels for the second wild-card spot. Eddie Rosario scored Minnesota’s lone run in the series opener and is 5-for-12 with three solo homers in the last three games.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, ESPN, FSN North (Minnesota), YES (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Jose Berrios (12-7, 3.84 ERA) vs. Yankees LH CC Sabathia (11-5, 3.85)
Berrios has settled for a pair of no-decisions in his last two starts despite allowing three runs in 12 2/3 innings. The 23-year-old also fared well and picked up the win in his last encounter with New York, permitting one run on six hits in 6 2/3 frames of a 6-1 triumph on July 19. Berrios has struggled away from home this season, however, posting a 4-6 mark on the road with a 5.14 ERA as opposed to an 8-1 record with a 2.45 ERA at Target Field.
Like Berrios, Sabathia also has notched a pair of no-decisions in his last two encounters - although his scheduled start on Sunday was pushed back to prevent the veteran from pitching on artificial turf in Toronto. The 37-year-old, who lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his last outing at Tampa Bay on Sept. 11, owns a 2-0 mark with a 3.14 ERA since returning from disabled list in mid-August. Sabathia is 18-9 with a 3.16 ERA in his career against Minnesota and has kept Joe Mauer (7-for-43, 17 strikeouts) and Robbie Grossman (0-for-5) under wraps, although Chris Gimenez has gotten his licks in by going 5-for-12.
1. New York RHP Aroldis Chapman, who recorded a five-out save in the opener, has surrendered just one hit and struck out nine in his last five appearances (six scoreless innings).
2. Mauer is 5-for-13 with three extra-base hits (two double, homer) and five RBIs in his last three games.
3. New York C Gary Sanchez is 0-for-8 with three strikeouts after collecting three straight two-hit performances.
PREDICTION: Twins 4, Yankees 2