Judge blasts two more as Yankees route Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The New York Yankees lived up to their Bronx Bombers nickname Sunday against the Texas Rangers.
Rookie Aaron Judge made history with his two-homer game and catcher Gary Sanchez also homered twice as the Yankees blasted the Rangers 16-7 at Globe Life Park.
Judge, who hit his 40th homer of the season as part of a six-run fourth inning for the Yankees and added a solo homer in the sixth, became just the second rookie in major league history to hit at least 40 homers. He joined Oakland’s Mark McGwire, who hit 49 in 1987, in that exclusive club on the same day he also set the record for walks in a season by a rookie with 107.
Judge felt good joining McGwire, who he watched growing up.
“Especially when he was in that home run hunt with Sammy Sosa, it was fun to watch,” Judge said. “It was pretty cool to see as a kid. To be in the same category with him, it’s pretty special.”
It was that kind of day for the Yankees as they matched their season high for runs in a game and hits with 18. Nine different Yankees had at least one hit and New York scored in seven innings.
The Yankees led just 3-1 before breaking the game open in the fourth inning.
The Yankees sent nine batters to the plate in the fourth and hit for the team cycle. Brett Gardner had a two-run triple, Chase Headley an RBI single, Didi Gregorius an RBI single and Judge a homer in the frame that built the New York lead to 9-1.
Sanchez set the tone in the first inning with his solo homer off A.J. Griffin (6-6), who lasted just three innings and allowed five runs. Gregorius gave the Yankees the lead for good with an RBI double in the third inning and Judge also added a sacrifice fly in that frame.
“Obviously it was a very challenging day from the beginning,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “It’s one of those where you wash off and move on. It’s tough because it’s September and we’re battling for a spot. You can’t let this one linger very long. By the time you leave the clubhouse you’ve got to be done with it.”
Gregorius added a two-run single in the fifth. Chad Green (4-0) picked up the win after starter Jordan Montgomery couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning. Green allowed one run on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. He struck out four. Montgomery pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed three runs.
Sanchez, who went 3-for-4 and scored four times, hit his second homer in the eighth inning to give him 30 on the season. Gregorius had four hits and also drive in four. Catcher Austin Romine also had three hits.
The duo of Judge and Sanchez have now combined for 71 homers this year and became the second Yankee duo to have two-homer games in the same game this season, joining Gardner and Matt Holliday on May 30.
“At this point right now, I feel really good, I‘m getting really good results,” said Sanchez. “I have had highs and lows throughout the season. But I’ve always kept my head up, got to keep working hard. Right now, I‘m seeing the ball pretty well. Just looking for high pitches today to make good contact, and that’s what I did.”
The Rangers tied the game at 1 in the second on a Robinson Chirinos solo homer. Ryan Rua had three of the eight Texas hits. Shin-Soo Choo had a pair of RBI for Texas.
Texas used five pitchers and four gave up runs.
“I felt fine,” said Griffin, who had his shortest outing since May 26. “They got a couple of runs off me. I just go out there and try to get guys out. I wasn’t able to last long enough today I guess. They got some base hits.”
NOTES: Texas activated RHP Matt Bush from the 10-day disabled list. He had been out since Aug. 21 with a strained right MCL. ... Texas 2B Rougned Odor left the game in the fifth inning after spraining his left ankle during a collision with OF Nomar Mazara. X-rays were negative and Odor will be re-evaluated Monday. ... Rangers C A.J. Jimenez collected his first major league hit in the seventh inning. ... New York SS Didi Gregorius and C Austin Romine each matched career highs in hits in a game. Gregorius had four and Romine three.