NEW YORK (Associated Press) – Aaron Judge sent a sinker flying to the left-field bleachers, one of his undoubted leadership, and circled the bases for the 60th time.
Humble throughout a walk into history that now puts him on par with Babe Ruth, the judge took a much more rare moment than one of his long balls – a curtain call.
“I didn’t really want to do that, especially since we were losing,” he said, recalling how his home run in the ninth inning reduced the Yankees’ deficit to three runs.
After 11 minutes, Judge and the Yankees felt free to set themselves free.
Giancarlo Stanton followed up Judge’s campaign with a big title win at the end of the game, completing a stunning five-run and ninth New York Rally to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates 9-8 on Tuesday night.
“I kind of lost my mind,” said Judge, a Homer who is shy about matching Roger Maris’ MLS season record. I had a good front row seat for that. I think the whole team lost their minds and the stadium got it wrong.”
The judge came on the field 3-1 from Will Crowe (5-10) to match Ruth’s total from 1927, which was the major league record until Maris broke it 34 years later.
Judge is on his way to the AL’s first triple crown in a decade, topping home runs, RBIs (128) and hitting average (.316).
He dropped his racket near the board – he never flipped – and when he finished his jog, he traded bats with Anthony Rizzo, hugged with Jabber Torres and slapped with Josh Donaldson. The judge walked up and down the bunker to receive congratulations and then came out of the bunker steps and briefly threw his helmet at the fans.
“I joked with Matt Carpenter earlier in the year, I think he had a couple of mates at a game or something and got a curtain call,” the judge said. Oh man, I’ve been here for six years and I’ve only had one curtain call. So I think it takes 60 to get another one.”
Rizzo doubled, Torres walked and Donaldson saved loading the bases. Sinked in a 9-for-72 stasis, Stanton sent a half-dozen row change into the left-field benches, capping a 19-degree sequence that would restart long and set off a raucous celebration among the remaining 40,157 crowd.
Roger Maris Jr. and Kevin Maris, the sons of the former player, were on hand.
“He hit 60 tonight, and nothing has happened. He has more work to do,” said Stanton, who hit 59 for Miami five years ago.
Crowe’s great uncle, Hall of Famer Red Ruffing, was Ruth’s Yankees teammate in the 1930s. Crowe visited the Ruffing board at Yankee Stadium Memorial Park before the game.
“He did what he was supposed to do with her,” Crowe said, “Count 3-1, I’m not going to wear it. I felt like I wanted to chase after him. He started away, came back in. Made a good swing on bad ground.”
Aroldis Chapman (3-3) made 1-2-3 ninth.
Brian Reynolds tied 4-4 with the seventh game at home from Lou Trevino and got the green light from Jonathan Loisiga in the eighth to achieve his fourth goal.
Rodolfo Castro—the player who was suspended for a game by Major League Baseball last month after a cell phone slipped out of his pocket as his head slipped—was followed by a triple whammy against Clay Holmes.
Holmes, the downed second-half All-Star, was attacking his former team for the first time.
Harrison Bader had a pair of singles and drove in three runs on his debut with the Yankees. First base captain Anthony Rizzo made a major mistake that led to the eighth of four runs for the already eliminated Buccaneers.
Reynolds also had a three-base error when a fly lands in the center, one of two errors by a team leading the Grand Slams with a score of 108.
Nestor Cortes blocked his leg twice in a double hesitation to net Reynolds in the third game but gave up one for midfield.
Charlie Hayes, former Yankees 3B team finalist of the 1996 World Championships, delivered the first celebratory show to his Pirates 3B son Ke’Bryan Hayes.
Pittsburgh has promoted six players to Triple-A Indianapolis after the end of the season in Double-A Altoona: RHPs Quinn Priester and Colin Selby, 2B-C-OF Endy Rodriguez, INF Aaron Shackelford, 3B Malcom Nunez, of Matt Gorski. “Now we have 10 more days of hits, we can get it,” said manager Derek Shelton. “The loss of 2020 has been very vital for organizations like ours. The more representatives we can get, the better.”
Yankees: RHP Frankie Montas received a second injection of cortisone in his diseased right shoulder and went on IL treatment for 15 days, retrospectively through Saturday. …LHP Zack Britton (Tommy John’s Surgery) gave a one-stroke run for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on his eighth rehab ride. RHP Miguel Castro (Tense Shoulder) made an easy run for the Sky Riders.
New York RHB Luis Severino (5-3, 3.45) starts Wednesday after recovering from a height strain that has kept him out of action since July 13.