This time around, Aaron Judge got a lot of assistance.
For the second night in a row, the Yankees battered one of the Mariners’ young ace pitchers on route to a 10-2 win at T-Mobile Park in front of 26,846 fans.
After homering twice in the series opener on Monday, Judge launched another huge drive in the seventh inning on Tuesday, the Yankees’ third of the night.
Last season, Judge set an American League record with 62 home runs and was named AL MVP for the first time. He seemed to be ready to go again.
With a three-run home run off Logan Gilbert in the third inning, rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe gave the Yankees a 6-0 lead, and Greg Allen, the Yankees’ No. 9 hitter, added a leadoff bomb in the fourth to make it 7-0.
Gilbert has only allowed two home runs in his previous five outings in May.
In the first two games of the series, the Yankees (34-23) have outscored the Mariners 20-6.
George Kirby, Seattle’s third young starter, will attempt to help the Mariners (28-27) escape a sweep on the last day of their 10-game homestand Wednesday night. Kirby is coming off his poorest start of the season, which came in a defeat to Pittsburgh on Friday.
“It happens, and it’s tough that it’s all been strung together like this (for Seattle’s young starters),” Gilbert said. “However, I believe everyone has been throwing the ball well this season.” You just need to flush it and move on.”
Starting pitchers for the Mariners have been so consistent, so dominating, especially at home, compiling a 3.12 earned-run average with 25 home runs allowed in 29 games before this series.
In the first two games of the series, the Yankees have blasted six home runs.
“This has never happened on consecutive evenings. “Our starting pitching has been so solid all year, and it allows us to be competitive every night, and the last couple nights it’s gotten away from us,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said, adding, “You play 162 games, you’re going to have some clunkers.” It is not advisable to eat it on consecutive evenings. But that’s where we are right now.”
Gilbert had his poorest outing of the season, allowing seven runs, five of which were earned, on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
After a leadoff single from Gleyber Torres and a walk to Judge, the Yankees scored three runs in the top of the first inning. They also benefitted from a rare mistake by Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who walked with one out and loaded the bases.
To drive in the first two runs, Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit to centre field, and Julio Rodriguez overthrew his cutoff, allowing two runners to advance.
Jake Bauers made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Servais said he was already thinking about warming someone up in the bullpen at that moment. Gilbert got through the first inning, but it took him 38 pitches, and the Mariners were unable to rebound.
Volpe’s three-run homer was a knockout punch.
Gilbert had pulled ahead of Volpe 1-2 with two outs and two on before launching a 90-mph slider. Gilbert kept his pitch low. The problem was that it just caught enough in the centre of the plate before Volpe leaped all over it, sending it 413 feet out to left field.
The Yankees extended their advantage to 8-2 with a soaring solo drive that barely cleared the fence in left-center.
This season, Judge has the most home runs in the American League with 18.
“Everyone knows he’s a hell of a player,” Servais remarked. “But we must continue to attack him.” He hits the ball, and he’ll hit a couple home runs. That is exactly what he does. But I believe striving to be flawless and live on the margins is what frequently gets you in trouble.”
Seattle’s offence struggled to get going against Yankees left-hander Nestor Cortes early on.
Ty France and Teoscar Hernandez hit run-scoring doubles off Cortes in the fifth.