TORONTO — Aaron Judge hit the game-turning home run and a double Tuesday night. The Yankees slugger propelled the Bombers to a 9-1 blowout from the Blue Jays, their divisional rival and a playoff contender. He helped the Yankees chase one of the best young starters in the game, extending their winning streak to 11 straight games.
During this winning streak, Judge hits .357 with eight homeruns, two doubles and 17 RBI. The slugger hit his ninth homer of the season off Manoah in the sixth inning, it was his fifth homer in the last five games and he is now tied with teammate Anthony Rizzo for the most in the big league.
And then he looked at a group of reporters and pointed out that he also punched three times and said, “We’re getting there guys.”
At least the Yankees are moving in the right direction.
The Yankees’ 11 straight wins are the longest streak in the major leagues this season and the most for the Bombers (18-6) since last season’s 13-game winning streak in August. They gave the Blue Jays (15-10) their first series loss of the season and also their first consecutive losses of the season.
“We have to keep pushing. Keep sharpening them and wait for the mistake,” said Giancarlo Stanton. “Sometimes it will be a mistake, sometimes if you keep pushing and grinding out at bats. † † you get a timely hit. So we have to keep grinding.”
That’s what the Yankees did on Tuesday, they kept fighting Alek Manoah until they could count his pitch and take him out of the game. The young Blue Jays righthander retired 15 Yankees in a row from the first inning to the sixth.
And then Judge got things going.
“I’m just trying to do what I can for the team and everyone. The lineup is great, but we weren’t really into the numbers. Everyone was grinding them a little bit. We were just trying to get his pitch count up “Luckily I was able to get one across the board and do something with it.”
Judge hammered a solo shot from two out, 427 feet to tie the game.
“I told you a few days ago that we’re going to wait a little while for him to get to work, even though the numbers were still pretty good. But yeah, there’s no question that he puts a few together really, really well every night. Tonight is no different,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone. “And then the double, they get some attack on points. They’re just really good to see him really settle in and be the player we know he is.”
That homer took out Manoah after six innings and strikeouts seven, then the Yankees rallied for six more runs in the seventh. The key to that was a bizarre rundown that Marwin Gonzalez used not only to get the runners into scoring position, but also to put Blue Jays’ first baseman Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. cover and actually score a point.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Gonzalez said with a smile. “I was just trying to get the runners ahead and I don’t know how I did it.”
Stanton filled the Yankee lead in the top of the ninth inning with his fifth home run of the season, a shot from 150 yards to the second deck in left field.
It was a shocking end to what had been a good pitching duel. Not only did Manoah mow down batters, but so did Jameson Taillon, who took his second win of the season. He gave up one run on five hits. He struckout four in six innings.
“It’s fun. I knew if I could keep them in that game those guys would break out at some point,” Taillon said. “The attack has been a lot of fun to watch over the past few weeks. They are so deep and they feed on each other. So once that (seventh) inning started, it was really fun to watch.”