ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Judge slammed his helmet in a rare show of frustration and the Yankees slugger remained at 61 home runs with just two games remaining to break the AL record after New York beat Texas 5-4 Tuesday to open a day-night doubleheader.
Judge went 1 for 5 with a single and scored the decisive run. But No. 99 didn’t come close to clearing the wall in the Yankees’ 99th win of the season.
Judge has gone five games without a homer, and the only time he went deep in the last 13 games was when he matched Roger Maris’ American League record with his 61st homer last Wednesday in Toronto.
A crowd filled with fans hoping to see history was on its feet when Judge grounded out on the first pitch of the game, and again when he lofted a routine flyout to right in the third.
In the fifth, he had an infield popup and TV cameras caught him slamming his helmet against a rack in the dugout. Judge singled in the eighth and got another at-bat in the ninth, grounding out on the first pitch.
Judge’s batting average dropped to .310. He trails AL leader Luis Arraez, who began the day at .315, in his bid to win the Triple Crown.
Judge saw 12 pitches overall and swung at eight of them. In three at-bats, he swung at the first pitch.
It was Judge’s 156th game overall, and the 54th in a row he has played for the Yankees since Aug. 5. Manager Aaron Boone had indicated that Judge would play in the nightcap if he was still at 61 homers, and they wrap up the regular season Wednesday.
Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza and Kyle Higashioka hit solo homers for the AL East champion Yankees.
Higashioka’s homer to straightaway center off reliever Brock Burke (7-5) tin the eighth tied it at 4. Higashioka tied his career high of 10 homers, all from June 12 on.
Judge followed with a line-drive single and eventually scored on Harrison Bader’s single.
Adolis García hit his 27th homer, a two-run shot in the fifth that gave him 100 RBIs for the Rangers, who lost their seventh consecutive game.
Aroldis Chapman (4-4) worked a perfect seventh for the victory. Jonathan Loaisiga worked the ninth for his second save, allowing a single before a game-ending double play when Leody Taveras mistakenly ran from second base on Marcus Semien’s liner to right.
Cabrera went deep for the sixth time in the first inning, and Peraza’s first big league homer tied the game at 2 in the second.
Peraza’s ball went into the packed left-field seats, where fans were crowded hoping for a ball from Judge. The Yankees TV broadcast reported that the family that got Peraza’s ball was at the game after their house in Fort Myers, Florida, was destroyed last week by Hurricane Ian. YES said the family gave the ball to the Yankees and was set to meet Peraza between games.
Josh Jung, the rookie third baseman hitting .198 whose one-out single in the eighth inning Monday night broke up New York’s no-hit bid, was credited with two RBIs on his single to right in the first.
For more New York Yankees news, turn to amNY.com
Nathaniel Lowe had a two-out single before García was hit by a pitch. García slowed near third base on Jung’s hit, but took off home when right fielder Marwin Gonzalez initially hesitated before throwing the ball back toward the infield.
Gonzalez had an RBI single that put the Yankees up 3-2 in the fifth after Peraza had a leadoff single and stole second base.
Yankees right-hander Jameson Taillon struck out five while allowing four runs and seven hits over six innings. Texas right-hander Jon Gray allowed three runs on four hits over six innings. He struck out three without a walk.
Yankees: 2B Gleyber Torres was still not feeling well after being a late scratch Monday because of flu-like symptoms. … Reliever Ron Marinaccio was put on the 15-day injured list with a stress reaction in his right shin and will miss the AL Division Series. … Right-handed reliever Albert Abreu was reinstated from the injured list after he had been out since Aug. 20 with right elbow inflammation.
RHP Gerrit Cole (13-7, 3.51) went into the nightcap with 248 strikeouts, matched with Ron Guidry for the Yankees single-season record. The Rangers were going with a bullpen game in the nightcap.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism