ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Aaron Judge hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning to lead the New York Yankees to their sixth consecutive victory, 5-3 over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
One day after hitting a 495-foot homer in the Bronx, Judge hit a majestic 438-foot shot on the opposite coast for his fourth homer in three games and the 22nd of his spectacular rookie season.
The California native hit his first homer in his home state after Angels manager Mike Scioscia curiously allowed closer Bud Norris to pitch to the AL homers leader with first base open.
Before the game, Judge said his parents would be in the Anaheim stands to watch their son’s latest feat in the opener of the AL East leaders’ seven-game California road trip.
Didi Gregorius went 4 for 4 with a walk and drove in two runs for the Yankees, while Chase Headley added an RBI single.
Danny Espinosa and Cameron Maybin got back-to-back RBI hits in the seventh for the Angels.
Gregorius extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with three straight singles off Alex Meyer in the first five innings. The 6-foot-9 Meyer struck out the 6-foot-7 Judge twice, but also yielded five singles and five walks.
Masahiro Tanaka snapped his five-start losing streak while pitching four-hit ball into the seventh inning. After his recent run of ugly defeats, Tanaka’s start was pushed back one day to the road trip opener, partly so he could face the Angels’ unintimidating lineup.
The Japanese right-hander largely shut down the Angels after Kole Calhoun’s first-inning homer, but he yielded Espinosa’s two-out RBI single before reliever Tyler Clippard (1-3) gave up Maybin’s tying RBI double in the seventh. Both runs were unearned in a rally aided by Headley’s one-out error on Eric Young Jr.’s grounder.
Jose Alvarez (0-3) gave up Aaron Hicks’ one-out double before Judge’s homer.
Dellin Betances struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save, his first since May 27.
Yankees: C Gary Sanchez got the night off from manager Joe Girardi despite going 9 for 21 in his previous five games.
Angels: Reliever Cam Bedrosian will make a rehab appearance at Class A Inland Empire this week in his return from a groin injury that has kept him out for nearly two weeks. … Andrew Heaney and Tyler Skaggs both threw bullpen sessions Monday. Skaggs is hoping to return from a two-month absence with a strained oblique muscle at the end of the month, while Heaney is progressing steadily in his return from Tommy John surgery.
Yankees: CC Sabathia (7-2, 3.66 ERA) has won five consecutive starts, all of them coming after a New York loss. The Northern California native has a career 4.03 ERA at the Big A.
Angels: J.C. Ramirez (6-4, 6.55 ERA) got another win last week despite yielding a career-high 10 hits to the Tigers. Los Angeles has won seven of the converted reliever’s last nine starts.