Aaron Judge caps huge May by hitting 2 more homers to lead the Yankees past the Giants 6-2

Aaron Judge capped a spectacular May by homering twice in his first game ever in San Francisco and the New York Yankees beat the Giants 6-2

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Aaron Judge grew up watching San Francisco Giants games on television and in person, imagining himself launching long balls like Barry Bonds.

In his first game here, he did his best Bonds impression.

Judge capped a spectacular May by homering twice in his first game in San Francisco and the New York Yankees beat the Giants 6-2 on Friday night.

“I think it was rounding the bases. I kind of looked out to left field and being out in those bleachers a couple of times, it just brought back some memories,” Judge said. “It’s a special place. Grew up a Giants fan. Loved coming to games out here. So pretty cool being on the opposite side of on the field.”

Judge grew up about 100 miles away in Linden and was heavily recruited in free agency by the Giants in December 2022, but decided to remain with the Yankees and signed a nine-year, $360 million contract.

He got his first chance to step in the batter's box here during batting practice before the game. He felt right at home once it started despite the boos that greeted him each at-bat. But he took little time to show the Giants and their fans what they missed out on when he spurned them in free agency.

“I didn’t hit any home runs in BP, so I was a little nervous,” Judge said. “Barry and a lot of those guys back in the day made it look pretty small at times.”

After hitting a single in the first inning, Judge launched a three-run shot to left field in the third against Jordan Hicks (4-2) and then another solo shot in the sixth to give him a major league-leading 20 homers.

“It’s hard to wrap your brain around what he’s doing,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He just kind of does his thing. He’s just so consistent with who he is as a person, as a player and the way he goes about it. It’s just fun to get to watch it.”

Most of that damage has come in May with Judge hitting 14 homers and 12 doubles with 27 RBIs. His 26 extra-base hits are the most by any Yankees player in a month since Joe DiMaggio had 31 in July 1937 and this is just the eighth time since the end of World War II that any player in the majors had that many extra-base hits in any month.

Judge's bat has helped carry the Yankees to 14 wins in their last 18 games, as they have become the fourth team ever to reach 40 wins before June 1.

He provided more than enough support for Marcus Stroman (5-2), who allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings to get the win. The Yankees tied a franchise record set in 1981 with their 18th straight start with a pitcher going at least five innings and allowing three runs or fewer.

“He’s incredible,” Stroman said about Judge. “It’s hard to put into words, but it definitely gives the whole team a little bit of momentum and motivation when he continues to keep going off. He’s definitely doing his part. So it just makes everybody else want to more for the squad. He’s definitely locked in.”

Hicks had a rare rough outing after allowing one earned run or fewer in seven of his first 11 starts this season, but gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings against Judge and the Yankees.

“When he’s hot, he’s tough to deal with,” manager Bob Melvin said about Judge. “When you throw good pitches, he fouls them off or he takes them and waits for one good pitch. You throw him a pitch he can handle, that’s what he does with it.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: INF DJ LeMahieu and OF Giancarlo Stanton got the day off for rest.

Giants: INF Marco Luciano was placed on the 10-day IL with a right hamstring strain. The move was retroactive to Thursday. ... INF Casey Schmitt was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento. ... OF Jung Hoo Lee will have season-ending shoulder surgery Tuesday in Los Angeles. … OF Michael Conforto (right hamstring) started a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Sacramento and SS Nick Ahmed (left wrist) will begin his Saturday. ... OF Ryan McKenna and C Jakson Reetz cleared waivers and were sent to Sacramento. LHP Drew Pomeranz cleared waivers, but elected free agency instead of going to minors.

UP NEXT

RHP Cody Poteet (1-0, 1.50 ERA) takes the mound in the middle game of the series for the Yankees against RHP Logan Webb (4-4, 2.74). Webb has allowed only two earned runs in his last three starts for San Francisco.

This story has been updated to correct the number of RBIs for Judge in May to 27 instead of 29.

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