Judge’s 6 RBIs, MLB-best 41 homers leads Yankees past Royals

New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge watches his two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Friday, July 29, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK — Aaron Judge became the first big leaguer with 40 homers this season, smashed a grand slam for No. 41 and robbed a home run in right field as the New York Yankees rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 11-5 Friday night.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa lined a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning as New York completed its major league-leading 29th comeback victory.


Judge was lavished with “MVP!” chants throughout the night, none louder than after his slam in the eighth cemented yet another Yankees rally. He also had a single and finished with six RBIs.

Judge and Anthony Rizzo homered early on a rainy night in the Bronx, but Kansas City came back against Gerrit Cole, with Whit Merrifield’s two-run single in the fifth ending a scoreless drought of 31 2/3 innings for the Royals.

Salvador Perez followed Merrifield with a go-ahead, three-run homer in his return from the injured list.

New York erased its deficit by batting around during a messy eighth inning that followed a 23-minute rain delay.

Albert Abreu (2-0) pitched a scoreless eighth against a Kansas City team that waived him June 21. Scott Barlow (4-4) took the loss.

Judge began the game by reaching over the right-field fence to rob MJ Melendez of a homer.


HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched one-run ball into the eighth inning and won his MLB-leading 14th game, Aledmys Díaz hit two homers and Yordan Alvarez slugged his 30th home run of the season as Houston routed Seattle.

Verlander (14-3) allowed one run in 7 2/3 innings with five hits and five strikeouts and outdueled Seattle’s Robbie Ray, last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner. He held Seattle scoreless until Jesse Winker and Julio Rodríguez doubled in the seventh inning.

Also Friday, the Mariners made a move to strengthen their pitching, acquiring the top starting pitcher on the trade market, getting All-Star Luis Castillo from the payroll-paring Cincinnati Reds for four minor league prospects.

The Astros chased Ray (8-8) by scoring three runs in the third inning. Ray gave up singles to Yuli Gurriel and Alvarez and a two-run double to Alex Bregman that put Houston up 4-0.


DENVER — Will Smith and Trayce Thompson hit two-run homers, Julio Urías pitched seven strong innings and Los Angeles edged Colorado.

The Dodgers overcame 13 runners left on base and a shaky ninth inning by Craig Kimbrel to improve to 20-4 in July and 67-32 overall, both the best marks in the majors.

Smith added a single and reached base four times, while Urías (10-6) held the Rockies to two runs and four hits and Kimbrel secured his 18th save.

Chad Kuhl (6-6) gave up three hits in the first inning. Smith’s 435-foot drive to left came on a 1-2 sinker. In the second inning, Thompson jumped on a first-pitch sinker and his 430-foot shot to center made it 4-0.

José Iglesias doubled, Randal Grichuk tripled and Ryan McMahon hit a sacrifice fly in the second as the Rockies got within two runs in their seventh loss in nine games.


MIAMI — Starling Marte homered, tripled and drove in three runs, Brandon Nimmo broke an eighth-inning tie with a two-run shot as New York overcame two early deficits to defeat Miami and run its winning streak to four games.

Nimmo finished with three RBIs and Marte was a double short of the cycle for the NL East leaders.

Pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar reached on an infield single leading off the eighth against reliever Steven Okert (5-1) and advanced on Tomás Nido’s sacrifice bunt. Nimmo then drove an 0-1 pitch from Okert over the wall in right-center.

Daniel Vogelbach doubled twice for the Mets, who had eight extra-base hits — six against Marlins All-Star starter Sandy Alcantara.

Adam Ottavino (5-2) pitched a scoreless seventh and Edwin Díaz converted his 23rd save.

The Marlins scored three in the first on Miguel Rojas’ bases-loaded double off Chris Bassitt, who gave up four runs, six hits and four walks in six innings.


CINCINNATI — Cedric Mullins hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in a four-run ninth inning, and Baltimore beat Cincinnati to move two games over .500 for the first time since April 2021.

Dillon Tate (2-3) earned the victory for Baltimore, which had not been two games over since it was 4-2 last year. The Orioles, at 37-25 following a 14-24 start, is 16-7 in July, assured of consecutive winning months for the first times since May and June 2016.

Ramón Urías walked against Buck Farmer (0-1) leading off the ninth, Rougned Oder doubled and Mullins grounded a first-pitch changeup up the middle and into center field for a 4-2 lead. Trey Mancini followed with an RBI single. Ryan Mountcastle followed with a sacrifice fly.

Joey Votto hit two-run homer in the first for the Reds.


ATLANTA — Austin Riley had a homer and three RBIs, Kyle Wright earned his NL-leading 13th victory and Atlanta topped Arizona.

Riley homered in the first and drove in runs with doubles in the third and fifth. Wright has won five straight decisions and gave up five hits and two runs with two walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

Geraldo Perdomo hit his third homer and Madison Bumgarner (6-10) took the loss, surrendering eight hits and five runs — four earned — in six innings.

Chris Devenski pitched the seventh for Arizona, making his first appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery last year.


WASHINGTON — Nolan Gorman and Lars Nootbaar hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning as St. Louis beat Washington and won consecutive games for the first time since July 15-16.

Washington’s Juan Soto went 1 for 4 in what could be his final homestand with Tuesday’s trade deadline looming. The Nationals were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Miles Mikolas (8-8) allowed two runs in seven innings, giving up six hits and a walk while striking out four for St. Louis.

Aníbal Sánchez (0-3) lost his third consecutive start for Washington, which has a majors-worst record of 34-67. He pitched into the sixth inning for the first time this season.

Dylan Carlson and Paul Goldschmidt had run-scoring groundouts sandwiched around Sánchez’s run-scoring wild pitch for the Cardinals.


SAN DIEGO — Jorge Alfaro launched a three-run homer, Luke Voit and All-Star Manny Machado each hit a two-run shot and San Diego had its first five-homer game in more than a year in a win over AL Central-leading Minnesota.

Kim Ha-seong and Eric Hosmer added solo shots for the Padres, who gave left-hander Blake Snell (3-5) all the runs he needed in the first inning.

All-Star Byron Buxton homered for the Twins in the fourth, his 25th.

Right-hander Joe Ryan (7-4) yielded all five Padres homers, including Machado’s and Alfaro’s in a six-run fifth, when all the runs scored with two outs.

It was the Padres’ first five-homer game since July 16, 2021, at Washington, and their first at Petco Park since June 25, 2021, against Arizona.

Ryan allowed eight hits and 10 runs in 4 2/3 innings, struck out seven and walked two.


PITTSBURGH — Rhys Hoskins drilled a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the 10th to lift Philadelphia past Pittsburgh.

Hoskins finished off a four-hit night by taking the third pitch he saw from Duane Underwood Jr. (0-3) and sending it to the grassy area beyond the center field wall for his 20th home run of the season to give the Phillies their third straight victory.

Nick Castellanos, Alec Bohm and Matt Vierling had two hits apiece for Philadelphia. Seranthony Dominguez (5-3) retired the Pirates in order to force extra innings and Connor Brogdon worked a perfect bottom of the 10th to pick up his first career save.

Ke’Bryan Hayes hit his fifth home run of the season for Pittsburgh and collected his third three-hit game this month, but the Pirates’ bullpen faltered late to send the club to its fifth consecutive loss.


SAN FRANCISCO — Patrick Wisdom homered again, Marcus Stroman pitched six scoreless innings for his first win in more than two months and Chicago beat struggling San Francisco, which lost for the eighth time in nine games.

Wisdom connected for the second consecutive day and also doubled in the ninth as the Cubs scored three times to take a 4-0 lead on the way to their seventh victory in eight games.

Wilmer Flores hit a two-run homer off closer David Robertson in the bottom of the ninth before the right-hander struck out Thairo Estrada to end it.

Stroman (3-5) got back into the win column despite a sluggish start, allowing eight hits with three strikeouts and one walk.


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — José Ramirez hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth, Shane Bieber struck out eight in seven innings and Cleveland beat Tampa Bay.

Ramirez’s 21st homer, a drive off Jeffrey Springs (3-3), gave Cleveland a 3-1 lead. Ramirez added a two-out RBI single in the eighth after Steven Kwan’s third single.

Bieber (5-6) needed 26 pitches in the first, when Ji-Man Choi hit a run-scoring single. He gave up one runs and five hits. Emmanuel Clase pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 24 chances.

Tampa Bay has lost six of seven and leads Cleveland by 3 1/2 games for the AL’s third wild card. The homestand opener drew just 14,671,


TORONTO — Willi Castro homered for the second time in two games, Victor Reyes had three hits, and Detroit beat Toronto.

Javier Báez reached base three times, Harold Castro hit a two-run single and Riley Greene scored twice for the Tigers, who came in having lost five of eight since the All-Star break.

The Blue Jays lost All-Star right-hander Alek Manoah in the sixth inning after he was hit on the right elbow by Jonathan Schoop’s comebacker. The team said X-rays revealed no fracture.

Matt Chapman homered for the third time in two games, but Toronto managed only four hits against six Tigers pitchers.

Will Vest (3-2) worked 1 1/3 innings and Gregory Soto finished for his 19th save in 22 chances.

Manoah (11-5) allowed four runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four.


BOSTON — Christian Yelich drove in the go-ahead run with a single in the seventh inning, Brandon Woodruff struck out nine and Milwaukee won in its return to Boston for the first time in eight years.

Andrew McCutchen had a run-scoring fielder’s choice and Tyrone Taylor added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

The game was scoreless until the sixth when the Brewers finally got to rookie Brayan Bello (0-3).

Woodruff (9-3) went 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run and four hits and two walks. Josh Hader struck out three in the ninth to pick up his 29th save.

The Red Sox are just 2-5 on current 10-game homestand — their longest of the season — and 4-9 in the last 13 at Fenway. They are 3-12 in their last 15 overall.


CHICAGO — Seth Brown hit two solo homers, Stephen Piscotty hit a three-run shot, and James Kapriellian pitched six strong innings as Oakland topped Chicago for its season-high fourth straight win.

Elvis Andrus also homered for Oakland, which improved to 7-2 since the All-Star break. Josh Harrison had a two-run shot for Chicago, which lost its second straight to fall below .500 (49-50).

Lance Lynn (1-4) went 5 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on six hits. He struck out eight and walked none.

Kaprielian (2-5) allowed one earned run and four hits, striking out four and walking one.


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Martin Perez worked seven strong innings, Adolis Garcia, Ezequiel Duran and Jonah Heim had RBI doubles and Texas broke open a close contest in the ninth inning and won consecutive games for the second time this month in beating Los Angeles.

Luis Rengifo had an RBI single for the Angels, who have a total of nine hits and two runs in the first two games of a four-game series.

The Angels lost for the eighth time in their last 11 games as reports circulated that the club is at least listening to trade offers for two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani (0 for 4).

The Rangers got on the scoreboard in the sixth with the help of Jo Adell. Semien doubled into the left-field corner, with the ball rebounding off the wall and slipping through Adell’s legs. He then dropped the ball while attempting to pick it up with his bare hand, allowing Semien to race all the way around the bases. Two batters after Semien scored, Jonah Heim walked and came home on Adolis Garcia’s double, giving Texas a 2-0 lead.

The Rangers put the game out of reach by scoring five runs in the ninth inning. Duran and Heim had RBI doubles and Leody Taveras had an RBI single, as Texas cashed in two more Angels gifts. Semien’s ground ball was misplayed, allowing Kole Calhoun to score, while Duran scored on one of two wild pitches by Elvis Peguero.

Perez (9-2) gave up one run on three hits over seven innings. Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (3-7) gave up two runs on four hits over 5 2/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts.

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