Aaron Judge’s departure saves Yankees in victory over Royals

Aaron Judge’s departure saves Yankees in victory over Royals

The Yankees’ offensive problems in the Subway Series came with traffic on the bases, as they went 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position.

On Thursday, they struggled to even put runners on base, never mind scoring position.

But all it took was a big swing from Aaron Judge to save the game.

With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Judge crushed a walk-off home run to left center to lift the Yankees to a 1-0 victory over the Royals in The Bronx.

“It never ceases to amaze me the season he’s putting together,” manager Aaron Boone said. “To put it in the air where he did, not a lot of people can hit it like that and ride it out like he did. Huge. Great to get us off at home where it was a bust for us tonight. But we take it.”

Judge’s 39th home run of the year, off Royals right-hander Scott Barlow, was just the second hit of the game for the Yankees (67-33), who had lost two straight and five of their last seven on the night.

Aaron Judge watches him walk away.
Aaron Judge watches him walk away.
Robert Sabo for NY POST

Royals right-hander Brady Singer had dominated the Yankees, striking out 10 over seven shutout innings of one-hit ball. He allowed just three base runners, and none of them advanced past second base.

But Judge came through with his sixth home run in his last seven games to wipe away a night of frustration.

“Today was tough, especially after the two losses at Citi Field,” Judge said. “Then he came in here and Singer shut us down the whole game, it didn’t feel so good. But this team has a lot of heart.”

The Yankees celebrate after their walk-off win.
The Yankees celebrate after their walk-off win.
Robert Sabo for NY POST

The 431-foot moonshot was Judge’s third career walk-off home run, all of which have come this year in the midst of his MVP-caliber season.

“We’ve come to expect it,” said Jameson Taillon, who threw six shutout innings. “It seems like every single big moment he’s up there and coming through.”

The debut of Andrew Benintendi, acquired from the Royals (39-60) on Wednesday night, did not immediately spark the Yankees’ lineup. The left fielder went 0-for-4 from the leadoff spot, although he was far from alone in failing to get to Springer.

“He was on,” Benintendi said. “It didn’t seem like he missed too many pitches over the middle of the plate. He painted the corners and didn’t really give us much to hit.”

Jameson Taillon pitches Thursday during the Yankees' victory over the Royals.
Jameson Taillon pitches Thursday during the Yankees’ victory over the Royals.
Robert Sabo for NY POST

The Yankees recorded their first hit of the night in the bottom of the fourth inning when Gleyber Torres lined a two-out single through the right side. Otherwise, Singer was untouchable, with the only other base runners coming around and hitting.

Coming off his shortest start of the season — when he lasted just 2 ²/₃ innings against the Orioles and struck out a season-high — Taillon put together a comeback effort on Thursday. The right-hander struggled early, but scattered four hits and two walks while posting a season-high eight strikeouts.

Ron Marinaccio relieved Taillon to start the seventh inning and threw two perfect frames. It marked the rookie’s 15th straight scoreless appearance, a streak that spanned 19 innings. Opponents are going 1-for-57 against him during that stretch as he continues to earn more trust from Boone.

Andrew Benintendi
Andrew Benintendi went 0-4 in his Yankees debut.
Robert Sabo for NY POST

“I feel like his heart rate doesn’t get above 60,” the judge said. “It’s wild.”

But the biggest moment in a high-pressure situation came from Judge, who stepped to the plate in the ninth inning thinking he didn’t have much to lose. He sat offspeed, but then got a first-pitch fastball down the middle from Barlow and didn’t miss.

“I was 0-for-3 with two punchouts,” Judge said. “I thought, ‘What’s the worst that can happen, I strike out a third time?’ “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.