ST. PETERSBURG — Aaron Judge just reminded everyone. With his 2022 contract still hanging in the air, the Bombers’ slugger hit two home runs, demonstrating his prodigious power and what his bat means to this team. He helped the Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.
José Trevino beat Ralph Garza, Jr. by 78 mph for an eighth-seat lead on his career-high sixth home run of the season. A double throw from 406 feet gave the Yankees their first lead of the night and their 20th comeback win of the season. It was Trevino’s third hitting home run in the eighth inning or later in the season, putting him first on the team with Anthony Rizzo.
The Yankees (51-18) are now 14-4 after losses this season and won their 18th series of the season, their second in a row over the Rays (37-32). They are 26-12 against the American League East. They have the best record in baseball and have completed a six-game trip 4-2.
The judge, who has an arbitration hearing Friday morning, told the Yankees that Trevino could make a difference.
The 30-year-old hit his 26th and 27th home runs in the major leagues of the season. It was his sixth multi-home run game of the season and the 22nd of his career. Six multi-home run games in a team’s first 60 games are the second most in baseball history, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Only Reggie Jackson’s seven in 1969 is better.
The referee’s first homer was Shane Baz’s 396-foot throw in the fourth inning. His second was a majestic, soaring 406-foot home run down the podium at Tropicana Field in seventh place, which cut the Rays’ lead to a run.
The arbitration hearing is over $4 million difference. Judge wanted $21 million, the Yankees offered $17 million. The Bombers did offer the referee an extension that would have cost more than $230 million including this season, but they were unable to reach an agreement before his opening day deadline. While a three-man arbitration panel shouldn’t let what the referee has already done this season affect them, the Yankees certainly should, especially with such a good team.
The Yankees hit another run of the night due to a sixth-inning error by Taylor Walls.
Jordan Montgomery just wasn’t savvy to begin with, but due to concerns about their use in the bullpen, they had to ride with him for as long as they could. The Yankee left-hander allowed a season-high four runs while recording a streak of 13 consecutive starts of three earned runs or fewer. He gave up two home runs, the first time he hit multiple homers in a game this season. He walked two and struck out the low season, tying two.
Montgomery received seven hits and misses, four of them on a change and none on a fastball. Clark Schmidt hit a scoreless inning, Michael King hit a perfect inning and Clay Holmes made his 12th save after botching his first save of the season on Monday.
Isaac Paredes, who the Yankees are now afraid to see on the plate, hit his first ball in the second inning. He had three homers and was hit with a pitch on Tuesday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Ray to hit a home run four times in a row at bat. On Monday night, a young infielder the Races got from Detroit in exchange for former Yankees hitman Austin Meadows set fire to a ground ball in center to destroy Gerrit Cole’s no-hit claim.
After the groundout, Josh Lowe pinned and then Videl Bruhan hit a 91 mph sinker to hit his second home run of the season. In the fourth, Francisco Mejia scored twice and scored as Brujan retired from the game.
Baz put the Yankees off balance by 4.2 innings. The talented young right-hander Rays conceded a home run to Judge, and that was it. The bombers received four hits and two walks. He struck out six.