Aaron Judge struck his 49th home run on Friday to seal another victory for the Yankees. The four-time All-Star hit his third homer in four games as the Bombers beat the Oakland Athletics by 3-2 at the Coliseum. The Yankees’ win drought seemed to be finally coming to an end with their fifth straight victory on Friday. The Pinstripers now have an 8.5 games advantage in the American League with a record of 78-48.
Moreover, Judge hit a 427-foot into the centerfield during the fifth against JP Sears, marking his 49th homer of the season. The 30-year-old is on pace for 63 homers and could break the AL record of 61 homers set by Yankee legend Roger Maris in 1961. The 2017 AL Rookie has become the third Yankee after Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth to have multiple seasons with at least 49 home runs.
Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole struck out 11 batters over 7.1 innings, one less than his season record. With 11 strikeouts, Cole also reached the 200 strikeouts mark for the fourth time in the last five seasons. He achieved the feat for the second straight season and fifth overall in his career. It helped the Yankees get their sixth victory in the last 11 games after stumbling badly since the All-Star break. With injuries still a concern, the Yankees are showing a bit of their early season form, which might have come at the right time with 36 games to go in the regular season. Judge is the key element for the Yankees to win the World Series for the first time since 2010. Hopefully, they will be able to make him stay for many more seasons to come.
Judge Helps Out Weissert After A Tough Debut
Greg Weissert made his debut against Oakland in a low-stress environment after the Yankees ramped the As by 13-1 previously. However, the 27-year-old found it hard to make his slider pop, struggling to find control. Weissert hit the first two batter he faced and went a bit wayward before securing his first strikeout. Greg almost finished off the final batter but was removed after his 3-2 pitch. Fortunately, Lucas Luetge came in to support his struggling teammate and close out the game to a 13-4 victory.
After a tough outing in the field, Weissert got caught up in a tricky situation with a camera fixated on him. The Yankee team man Judge came in for the rescue and subtly walked in front of the camera to grab a few seeds and stood in the way to protect this rookie teammate.