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Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner hit 2 HRs apiece in Yankees’ win

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius greets Yankees

New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius greets Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge after his three-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays during the seventh inning in an MLB baseball game at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The chants rained down on Aaron Judge from the rightfield seats during a sleepy top of the sixth inning.


The affable Judge, who almost always acknowledges the crowd, did so again, this time with an almost embarrassed smile.

Still, just over a month into the season, the notion isn’t far-fetched.

A remarkable start to the season for the 25-year-old continued Tuesday night as the massive rightfielder hit two of the Yankees’ five home runs in an 11-5 pounding of the Blue Jays in front of 30,058 at the Stadium.

The Yankees’ offense, held in check the day before by Marco Estrada, also received two homers from a resurgent Brett Gardner and a solo effort by Aaron Hicks, part of a 16-hit attack. The Yankees (16-9) lead the American League with 42 homers, 12 of them from Judge, the AL leader.

Judge, who hit an opposite-field shot down the rightfield line in the third inning and a three-run moonshot in the seventh that blew it open at 11-4, also made a diving catch in right-center field, one night after gunning down a runner at third base.

The 6-7, 282-pound Judge, the AL leader in slugging entering the night (.725), went 2-for-3 with two walks, raising his average to .313.

The beneficiary of the offensive onslaught was Masahiro Tanaka, who was not nearly as sharp as in his previous outing, last Thursday at Fenway Park when he threw a three-hitter. Tuesday night, Tanaka (4-1) allowed four runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings to a Blue Jays team that had a three-game winning streak stopped, which dropped them to 9-18.

Tanaka, 3-0 with a 1.61 ERA over his previous three starts, took a 7-0 lead into the fifth before former Yankee Steve Pearce homered, snapping Tanaka’s 16-inning scoreless streak. Toronto added another run in the inning and Pearce homered again in a two-run seventh, helping drive Tanaka from the game.

Toronto did get the tying run to the plate in the seventh when Dellin Betances balked in a run to make it 8-4 and walked former Yankee Russell Martin to load the bases. Betances struck out Kendrys Morales to end the inning, then Judge put it away with his three-run shot off Jason Grilli, on a full-count pitch, in the bottom half.

Overmatched Blue Jays righty Mat Latos (0-1) allowed seven runs and 10 hits, including four homers, over four innings.

Gardner, who went 3-for-5 to improve to 8-for-23 with four homers the first five games of this homestand, doubled and scored in the first, coming in on Matt Holliday’s double.

Hicks’ two-run bomb, on a 1-and-2 pitch, gave him five homers and a 3-0 Yankees lead.

With Chris Carter aboard, Gardner crushed a fastball into the second deck in right to make it 5-0.

Judge sliced one just over the 314-foot sign on the wall in right with one out in the third to make it 6-0 and Gardner’s second homer of the night, a solo shot in the fourth, made it 7-0.

After the Gardner homer, there was a momentary delay as a likely-inebriated fan ran onto the field in right and was promptly taken down, hard, by stadium security.

New York Sports