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Judge hits MLB-best 25th homer, Yankees rout Royals 10-1

Aaron Judge Yankees
New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge hits a two-run home run against the Kansas City Royals during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 25th home run with a 436-foot, two-run drive into the fountain behind the center-field seats, and the New York Yankees routed the Kansas City Royals 10-1 on Tuesday night for their 11th win in 14 games.

Giancarlo Stanton followed Judge in the seventh with a 446-foot shot to center against reliever Nick Anderson for his 16th home run of the season. Austin Wells hit a three-run homer in a four-run fourth off starter Brady Singer.

Back in the lineup after his first game off this season, Judge hit his 21st homer in his last 41 games and also singled in New York’s first run. Judge raised his average to .309 and is hitting .419 with 44 RBIs in his last 35 games after batting .197 through May 2.

“I’m trying not to take that for granted. It’s a lot of fun to witness and to watch what he’s doing on a nightly basis,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s just, obviously — amazing physical talent and tools and ability, but now the experience that thousands of at-bats allow you to have that gets applied with that great talent and this is what you’re seeing.”

Despite lofty stats on the scoreboard each time he steps to the plate, Judge doesn’t consider himself a hitter at the level of Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera.

“I try not to look up there. Even when I’m hitting .150, I try not to look up there. I try to look at (Juan) Soto’s stats,” Judge said. “They’re hitting .330, though, .330, 340, which is — that’s pretty impressive. So I don’t know if I’ll ever get there but we can work towards it, for sure. Yeah, .330 in November, I might feel locked in.”

AL-best New York (48-21) improved to 39-4 when Judge and Stanton homer in the same game, including the playoffs, and to 16-1 against the AL Central this season. The Yankees are a season-best 27 games over .500.

Boone got his 557th victory, moving past Billy Martin into sole possession of seventh among Yankees managers.

Marcus Stroman (6-2) allowed four hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings, boosting his record to 4-0 in his last six starts. Ron Marinaccio struck out Drew Waters, stranding the bases loaded in the sixth.

Soto played right field for the Yankees and went 0 for 2 with a pair of walks before leaving with New York ahead 10-0 in the seventh. After missing the weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers because of left forearm inflammation, Soto was the designated hitter Monday and went 1 for 3 with a walk.

Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo returned after consecutive days off and went 0 for 4. He is 1 for 33 in June, dropping his average to .221.

“It’s a grind right now and this is what makes you appreciate the sunny days in this game,” Rizzo said, adding he feels “believe it or not, close.”

“It’s tough going through, but this is part of being a baseball player,” Rizzo said.

Anthony Volpe led off with his seventh triple of the season, Soto walked and Judge followed with an RBI single. Alex Verdugo’s groundout advanced the runners and Soto slid home on Stanton’s grounder to third baseman Maikel Garcia, slapping his left hand on the plate ahead of Salvador Perez’s tag.

Singer (4-3) gave up seven runs — six earned — and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings.

“I just wish I would have obviously made some better pitches there,” he said.

Kansas City has lost 10 of 15 following an eight-game winning streak.

“I’d be surprised if there’s a team that doesn’t go through this,” manager Matt Quatraro said. “They’re going to keep grinding away.”

Freddy Fermin homered off Marinaccio in the eighth. First baseman/outfielder Nick Pratto made his professional pitching debut with a one-hit ninth for Kansas City in his first big league appearance this season.

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