NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge hit a three-run home run in the 10th inning for his second walk-off hit against the Astros in four days, and the New York Yankees rebounded after nearly no hit for the second straight game to beat Houston 6-3 for a four-game split between the AL’s top teams.
After Michael King left the bases loaded in the 10th, Isiah Kiner-Falefa dropped a two strikeout bunt that moved automatic runner Aaron Hicks to third. Righthander Seth Martinez walked pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter intentionally and struckout LeMahieu, resulting in a two-out confrontation with the Judge.
As on Thursday, when he broke a tie of 6 with a single in the ninth, Judge lifted the Major League-leading Yankees. His left-center rocket on a slider landed in the visiting bullpen.
After rounding the bases, Judge crossed the stands and donated his bat to film director Spike Lee.
With their 10th walkoff win this year, the Yankees improved to 53-20 and tied for the third-best 73-game start in the majors since 1930—behind only the 2001 Mariners and 1998 Yankees. It stands 24-1. when Judge and Stanton homer in the same game, including 8-0 this season.
For most of the weekend, they barely hit like a juggernaut.
José Urquidy was eight outs from Houston’s second straight no-hitter before Stanton made contact, narrowing the Astros’ lead to 3-1. The Yankees were 0 to 52 since the eighth inning of a 3-1 loss Friday night – a stretch that included a combined no-hitter by Cristian Javier, Héctor Neris and Ryan Pressly on Saturday.
New York’s hitless 16 1/3 inning drought was the longest on any team since 1961, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. were hit by the St. Louis Browns, but the second jewel came in the second game of a doubleheader.
LeMahieu tied the score with an undoubted two-out homer off reliever Phil Maton, who had let Kiner-Falefa aboard with a single.
King (5-1) had to wriggle out of trouble in the 10th after the New York defense slipped twice. Shortstop Kiner-Falefa started José Altuve’s grounder and catcher Jose Trevino‘s attempt to eliminate Jason Castro at second base failed when Castro was third.
King walked Alex Bregman with one out to load the bases, then Kyle Tucker and Yuli Gurriel were eliminated. King reached 100 mph for the first time in his career on the at bat against Bregman.
A crowd of 47,422 people slumped into their seats for most of the afternoon—the biggest cheers came early in front of a cloud that briefly interrupted the blazing midday sun. The Astros have become as hated in the Bronx as the rival Red Sox after knocking out New York three times in the post-season since 2015 — including during their scandal-ridden title run in 2017.
Altuve silenced his assailants by hammering on Nestor Cortes’ first delivery and matching ex-teammate George Springer for the Major League lead with seven leadoff home runs. Mauricio Dubón added a two-run single in the fourth.
Altuve also walked twice and stole two bases.
Houston-star Michael Brantley was relieved in the eighth inning due to right shoulder discomfort. The five-time All-Star was 0 for 3 and his batting average dropped to .288.
The Astros also were without batter Yordan Alvarez, who was kept out of the lineup with an ongoing hand problem. He pinch-hit against Clay Holmes in the ninth inning and was walked intentionally.
Gleyber Torres of the Yankees stranded on third base in the ninth when he sprained his right ankle and was easily eliminated while squirming in the mud. Manager Aaron Boone called the sprain mild.
Stanek extended his AL-best scoreless streak to 19 1/3 innings. Martinez (0-1) had the second-longest run with 17 2/3 innings prior to Judge’s attack, bringing Houston in with a Major League-best 2.63 ERA.
Urquidy gave up one basehit over seven innings. He walked three and struckout three batters on 98 pitches.
Stanton’s homer was his third in the four-game series and 17th this season.
Plate umpire Mike Muchlinski took a foul tip off his mask in the first inning and staggered back before being grabbed by Yankees catcher Jose Trevino. Muchlinski consulted with a trainer and the rest of the umpiring crew before going behind the plate. The game ended with three umpires.
Astros: SS Jeremy Peña (left thumb) was activated from the injured list. He doubled and scored on Dubón’s single and also made a sharp plate to take away a hit from LeMahieu. …OR Chas McCormick got an option on Triple-A.
Yankees: LHP Aroldis Chapman (left Achilles tendonitis) would make his second rehab with Double-A Somerset and then disappear from the list of injuries. … RHP Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder inflammation) will throw bullpens on Monday and Wednesday before giving live batting training next weekend.
Astros: Have a day off in New York before starting a two-game series against the Mets in Queens on Tuesday night. RHP Luis Garcia (5-5, 3.68) is lined up to start.
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (3-1, 2.97 ERA) takes on Oakland RHP Paul Blackburn (6-3, 2.97) to open a three-game home set.
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