Aaron Judge hits two HRs to power Yankees to 12-8 win; Maris and Triple Crown both within reach

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Judge hits home runs 58 and 59
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits his fifty eighth homerun during the third inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Kenny Yoo)

The Yankees never seem to make it easy on themselves of late, but they have Aaron Judge and that has been all they really needed of late. After staking the Brewers to an early lead, Aaron Judge hit home runs 58 and 59 to power New York to a 12-8 victory on Sunday afternoon. 

It began with a first inning to forget for ace Gerrit Cole. After getting Christian Yelich to fly out, Cole walked Willy Adames and Hunter Renfroe before giving up a three-run homer to Kolton Wong on a slider that caught too much of the late. 

Before the Yankees could blink, they were down 3-0. 

But the bats would not stay silent. Aaron Judge would not stay silent. 

In the second inning, rookie Oswaldo Cabrera took an 81 mpg changeup from Jason Alexander and drilled it for a home run to center field. It was the first of what would wind up being three hits for the rookie, who finished the day 3-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. 

After Tyrone Taylor hit a home run off of Cole in the bottom of the second, both Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo went yard in the top of the 3rd to keep the Yankees in the game. It was Judge’s 58th home run of the season, which took him to within three home runs of 61, the American League record held by Yankee great Roger Maris

The pinstripes scratched across four runs in the 5th inning on three runs and one costly error by Wong and then went to work again in the 7th. Kyle Higashioka knocked in Cabrera with an RBI groundout and then Aaron Hicks homered to right to put the Yankees up 9-4. 

Judge stepped into the box next and, after Luis Perdomo got ahead 1-2, Judge crushed a hanging slider 443 feet to left-center field. It put him at 59 on the season, which is one shy of tying Babe Ruth for the second-most in AL history, and gave him a legitimate shot to pass Maris’ record.

New York would wind up needing all of the offense that their star provided as the bullpen gave up two runs to the Brewers in the 8th and another two in the 9th to, finally, close the door on a 12-8 victory almost four hours after the first pitch was thrown. 

However, the long-term problems for the team can take a backseat for now.

With New York sitting at 88-58, their 6’7″ star slugger will now have 16 games to hit three more home runs and break a record that has stood since 1961. It will cement his name in team history and be the cherry on top of a phenomenal season; however, it might not be the only monumental achievement in Judge’s season.

After his 4-5 day at the plate today, Judge raised his average to .316, which is now tied with Xander Bogaerts for 2nd in the American League and only .001 behind Luis Arraez of the Minnesota Twins for the lead. Since Judge leads the American League with 59 home runs and 127 RBI, it means that a Triple Crown is well within reach for the slugger, in addition to just breaking Maris’ home run record. 

The Yankees will be at home for two games against Pittsburgh next week before a three-game set against the rival Boston Red Sox where Judge will continue his march towards a record-breaking season.  

For more Yankees and Aaron Judge coverage, visit amNY Sports

Aaron Judge powers the Yankees to another victory
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits his 59th home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Kenny Yoo)