Payday: Judge wins it for Yankees on eve of salary showdown

NEW YORK — Aaron Judge lined a game-winning single on the eve of his wage arbitration showdown, capping a four-run ninth inning that included Aaron Hicks’ tying three-run homer off nearer Ryan Pressly within the New York Yankees‘ 7-6 victory over the Houston Astros on Thursday evening.

Batting with two on in opposition to Ryne Stanek, Judge smoked a 3-0 splitter into the left-field nook to attain Jose Trevino from second base. It was the Yankees’ ninth walk-off win in 70 video games this season — their most since 1943 — and one which appeared mighty unlikely once they entered the final inning with solely two hits.

New York took the opener of a extremely anticipated four-game sequence between the American League’s high two groups, successful for the nineteenth time in 22 video games to enhance to 52-18 — the third-best 70-game begin within the majors since 1930.

New York additionally prolonged its dwelling successful streak to fifteen video games, the crew’s longest since 1961.

The Yankees entered Thursday tied for the most important league lead with 20 comeback victories. No. 21 is likely to be probably the most memorable.

Giancarlo Stanton, who hit a three-run homer within the first inning, led off the ninth with a stroll in opposition to Pressly, and Gleyber Torres drew one other throughout a plate look that included a prolonged delay as a result of Torres had one thing in his eye.

The switch-hitting Hicks then dug in from the left facet and crushed a no-doubter to proper area, simply the third hit for the Yankees all evening and first since Stanton’s homer.

Hicks’ third homer of the season despatched the gang of 44,071 right into a frenzy.

“This was a playoff atmosphere right there,” Judge mentioned. “When Hicks hit that homer I just looked into the bleachers, everybody was jumping around going crazy. This is a big series, and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

Isiah Kiner-Falefa adopted with an infield single however was thrown out attempting to steal second — a detailed name upheld through replay.

Trevino then lined a one-out single, prompting supervisor Dusty Baker to tug Pressly (1-2). Trevino additionally had a go-ahead, two-run homer within the eighth inning of a 5-4 win at Tampa Bay on Wednesday evening.

Pressly, a two-time All-Star, entered with a 5.71 ERA in 18 profession appearances in opposition to the Yankees, together with the postseason.

Stanek walked DJ LeMahieu, then fell behind Judge 3-0 as followers serenaded the slugger with “MVP!” chants.

“I knew I was gonna get the job done,” Judge mentioned after his third profession walk-off hit and second this season.

“That’s when this game’s at its best right there, moments like that,” he added. “Crowd’s on their feet, game’s on the line. They’re the moments in your backyard you dream about.”

Miguel Castro (4-0) labored a hitless inning for the win.

Next up: an uncommon in-season arbitration listening to Friday — rulings are normally made within the offseason however have been pushed previous opening day because of the sport’s labor lockout. Judge is asking for a $21 million wage, whereas New York has provided $17 million in his closing season earlier than reaching free company.

The Astros’ Alex Bregman and Stanton exchanged three-run homers within the first inning, and Houston’s Yordan Álvarez cracked one other three-run drive within the third in opposition to Yankees starter Jameson Taillon.

Astros starter Framber Valdez steadied himself after a rocky first inning. Jose Altuve had three hits and proper fielder Kyle Tucker robbed a possible homer within the eighth for Houston, however the Astros fell to 43-26 on a uncommon down evening for the majors’ main bullpen.

Stanton grew to become the primary participant to homer off Valdez’s elite curveball this season, and the left-hander shied away from his finest pitch after that — to stellar outcomes. With a heavy dose of sinkers, Valdez struck out seven over six innings, permitting simply the three runs on two hits, each within the first inning.

Valdez seemed primed to go deep within the recreation till Anthony Rizzo grinded out a 16-pitch stroll within the sixth. Valdez was pulled after 101 pitches.

Héctor Neris pitched an ideal seventh, and Tucker helped Rafael Montero get by means of the eighth. After Judge reached on Bregman’s error at third base, Rizzo smoked what he thought was a two-run homer to proper. With Rizzo jogging to first, Tucker leaped into the wall and grabbed the road drive for the third out.

Taillon allowed a season-high six runs, interrupting a stellar first half after years of being hampered by well being woes. Houston had 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings in opposition to the right-hander.

Fans confirmed up fiery for the renewal of a blossoming baseball rivalry — Houston has eradicated the Yankees from three postseasons since 2015, together with throughout their scandal-tainted 2017 World Series run.

Bronx followers have been delighted when Taillon plunked Altuve main off the sport, however they sank again into their seats when Bregman slugged his homer to left area moments later. The lull ended when Stanton countered along with his drive within the backside of the inning.

Álvarez, who homered twice in opposition to the Mets on Wednesday evening, smacked a low, 113 mph line drive into Yankee Stadium’s brief right-field porch within the third. Álvarez’s 22 homers path solely Judge’s 27 for the most important league lead.


Yankees proper fielder Joey Gallo made a spectacular play within the second inning, sprinting throughout the foul line and leaping on the roughly 8-foot wall to catch Martín Maldonado’s flyball.

As has been the case many of the season, Gallo wasn’t so sharp on the plate, going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.


Astros: SS Jeremy Peña (thumb discomfort) labored out on the sector, and Houston deliberate to judge him afterward. … OF Jake Meyers (left shoulder surgical procedure) rejoined the crew after finishing a minor league rehab project however was not activated.

Yankees: Traded RHP David McKay to Tampa Bay for money, optioned RHP Clarke Schmidt to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and added RHP Albert Abreu to the lively roster. Abreu was with the Yankees from 2017-21, largely within the minors, however was traded in April to Texas for Trevino. Abreu has since been waived by the Rangers and Royals, and New York claimed him from Kansas City this week.


Astros ace Justin Verlander (8-3, 2.30 ERA) pitches at Yankee Stadium for the primary time since Game 5 of the 2019 AL Championship Series, a 4-1 Houston loss. He’s 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 10 profession begins on the ballpark. He’ll oppose New York RHP Luis Severino (4-1, 3.27) on Friday evening.

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