By ADRY TORRES, Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — His day done, Aaron Judge put on a “Great Hambino” shirt — yellow and short-sleeved, loaded with images of a young boy pointing his finger and resting a bat over his shoulder, just like Babe Ruth.
Judge hit two more home runs, including a drive nearly 500 feet that cleared the distant bleachers at Yankee Stadium and sent New York romping past Baltimore 14-3 Sunday for its fifth straight win.
Still, the rookie sensation with the shirt referencing a character from the movie “The Sandlot” didn’t sound too impressed. Unlike his teammates and a sellout crowd of 46,348, who were awed by Judge’s latest achievements.
“If I know it’s going over the fence, I am going to start jogging and just get around the bases and get back in the dugout,” he said.
Yet even by his lofty feats, it was quite a power show by the 6-foot-7 Judge. He leads the majors with 21 homers and tops the AL with 47 RBIs and a .344 batting average.
In the sixth, Judge launched a mammoth shot to left-center field that was estimated at 495 feet, the longest homer in the majors this season, according to Statcast. The ball bounced off the bare hands of a fan standing behind a fence beyond the back row of the bleachers.
Then again, out that far, who could expect to need a glove for a souvenir?
The Yankees on the bench had their mouths wide open in amazement, pointing to where the ball traveled. Shortstop Didi Gregorius lifted up diminutive infielder Ronald Torreyes for a high-five with Judge.
Judge sent a shot into the right-center seats in his next at-bat, and also doubled earlier.
“He hit a line drive to right field. It was just a line drive,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Most guys, they’re hoping it gets in the gap. It just went out. I mean his power is incredible.”
The 25-year-old Judge has done enough to lead all American League players in fan voting for starting spots in the All-Star Game. The outfielder enhanced his credentials by going 4 for 4 with a walk, scoring four times and driving in three.
Starlin Castro homered and drove in five runs for the AL East leaders. Gary Sanchez also connected, capping a five-run first inning off Kevin Gausman (3-5).
“I think they swung at the first four pitches I threw, so obviously they’re all feeling pretty hot right now, feeling comfortable”, Gausman said.
The Yankees scored at least eight runs for the fifth straight game, matching the team’s best streak since 1939. New York swept the three-game series, and outscored the Orioles and Boston 55-9 during this five-game run.
“I know these three days up here, last four days, actually, have been frustrating,” Orioles outfielder Adam Jones said. “But let’s get the hell out of New York, let’s go to Chicago, redeem ourselves and just flip the script.”
Adam Warren (2-1) got credited with the win, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Gausman gave up eight hits, seven runs and walked six in 3 1/3 innings. He walked Matt Holliday with one out to load the bases in the first and Castro began his big offensive day with a two-run single. Sanchez followed with his 10th homer.
The Orioles, playing without injured All-Star third baseman Manny Machado (strained left wrist) for the fourth straight game, chased New York starter Chad Green in the third with back-to-back doubles that made it 5-1.
Baltimore hit two more doubles, giving them four in a row, off reliever Chasen Shreve that reduced the Yankees’ lead to 5-3.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW
Yankees pitching prospect Domingo German made his major league debut in the seventh. He gave up two hits, walked a batter and struck out one without allowing a run in the final 2 2/3 innings. He was sent back to Triple-A after the game, and the Yankees plan to promote righty Ben Heller on Monday.
COMING AND GOING
Baltimore added some fresh arms to its bullpen prior to Sunday’s series finale, recalling Logan Verrett and selecting the contract of Jimmy Yacabonis from Triple-A Norfolk. They both gave up a home run to Judge.
To make room for both right-handed relievers, Stephen Crichton was optioned to Triple-A and Edwin Jackson, a 15-year vet, was designated for assignment.
Orioles: Machado hit off a tee, made some throws and fielded some grounders before the game. He was available to pinch hit but there’s a possibility he can play Monday.
Yankees: Jacoby Ellsbury, on the disabled list since May 25 due to a concussion and neck sprain, is scheduled to join Double-A Trenton, perhaps on Tuesday, according to Girardi.
Orioles: Wade Miley (2-3, 3.27) tries to halt Baltimore’s four-game losing streak Monday night in Chicago as he takes the mound in the opener of a four-game set against the White Sox. The lefty lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his last outing last Wednesday against Pittsburgh, allowing four runs and eight hits.
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (5-6, 6.55) starts the first game of a seven-game West Coast road trip Monday when he faces the Angels. Tanaka was scheduled to start Sunday but got an extra day off in the midst of the toughest stretch of his career, in which he’s lost five straight starts (27 runs in 22 2/3 innings, including 11 homers).
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