Aaron Judge homered for the fifth straight game Sunday, becoming the first New York Yankees player in 13 years to accomplish the feat.
The big slugger connected off left-handed reliever Matt Hall in the second inning, sending a three-run drive off the second deck in left field at Yankee Stadium to give New York a 3-2 lead over the Boston Red Sox. Judge went deep again in the eighth, blasting a two-run shot off Matt Barnes to give the Yankees their final two runs in a 9-7 victory.
“I really think he’s on a mission right now,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. The previous Yankees hitter to go deep in five consecutive games was Alex Rodriguez in September 2007.
Judge joined A-Rod as the only players in club history to hit five home runs in the first eight games of a season. Rodriguez also did that in 2007.
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With no fans allowed at Yankee Stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic, teammates in the dugout were easily heard bellowing in excitement when Judge connected.
“Not locked in yet. Still trying to find it,” Judge said. “I’m feeling good.”
Judge, who used the coronavirus hiatus to rehab a fractured first right rib and subsequent punctured lung, entered the shortened season with a clean bill of health.
“He’s healthy, man. He’s a stud,” Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said. “He’s in a groove right now. It’s a guy that you don’t want to take your eyes off when he’s hitting.”
Judge had never homered in four games in a row until he connected during Saturday’s 5-2 triumph over Boston. The two-time All-Star led the American League with 52 home runs in 2017, when he was the AL Rookie of the Year and runner-up for MVP. Limited by injuries the past two years, Judge hit 27 homers each campaign.
The home runs Sunday gave Judge six homers and 14 RBIs in eight games this year.
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