New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a two-run home run...

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a two-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Yankee Stadium on June 29, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

While there is no such thing as a sure thing in baseball, the Yankees come awfully close when they pair an Aaron Judge home run and a Giancarlo Stanton home run in the same contest.

Judge hit a two-run shot to leftfield in the first inning and Stanton drilled a three-run blast to rightfield in the third inning on Wednesday as the Yankees shrugged off Jameson Taillon’s early-game stumble and sailed to a 5-3 victory over listing Oakland before 39,647 at the Stadium.

It was the ninth time this season the two sluggers went deep in the same game and the ninth time the Yankees posted a victory. They’ve done it 23 times in regular-season games and three more times in playoff contests – and the Yankees are 25-1 in those.

“We’ve talked about a lot of different ways [to win] and today we leaned on our big boys,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Judge’s home run was his 29th and cut what had been a 3-0 Oakland lead to a one-run margin. Stanton’s homer, his 19th, put the Yankees up for good. From there, baseball’s best bullpen took over with four scoreless innings: two from Lucas Luetge and one apiece from Miguel Castro and Clay Holmes. Holmes retired the A’s in order in the ninth inning for his 14th save in 15 opportunities.

The win puts the Yankees at 56-20 and ties them for the best mark after 76 games since 1930; The 1998 Yankees and 2001 Mariners also started 56-20. It was their MLB-high 24th comeback victory of the season.

It also completed a three-game sweep of Oakland – which has lost 22 of 27 – and gives the Yankees – who have won 22 of 27 – a 10th sweep among 19 series victories. Judge sees a win like Wednesday’s as very significant in the big picture.

“Everyone is motivated, no one is satisfied [and] we know what is ahead of us,” Judge said. “Every win is important. There’s been so many years we look back and getting down to the end of the September, it’s like we’re fighting and clawing and we’re a half game out [or] a half game up. Guys are starting to realize [that] even though we’ve won the series . . . this means a lot down the road.”

This spectacular Yankees start has been so good that it has warped all perspective and Taillon illustrates that perfectly.

Just six batters into the game, Taillon had the Yanks in a 3-0 hole. The righthander recovered to finish five innings without allowing another run but is undeniably in a five-game rough patch. He pitched his first 10 starts to a 2.30 ERA and has followed it with five at a 5.68 ERA with no quality starts. Still he is 3-0 over that span and is 9-1 on the year.

“You’re going to go through peaks and valleys throughout a season,” said Taillon, who allowed seven hits and two walks, whiffing six. “On a team like this it’s kind of a luxury: you’ve got a great bullpen that’s going to pick you up. You’ve got a great offense to pick you up.”

Oakland got a two-run double from Stephen Piscotty and run-scoring single from Elvis Andrus to build the 3-0 lead. Judge had the Yankees within a run as fans were still finding their seats.

“It’s big when you give a little punch back right away,” Stanton said. “It’s good for everything. It just changes the aura in the dugout, even though there is not panic. It’s good to punch back.”

Stanton came up with one out and DJ LeMahieu and Judge on base. He fouled off a pair of pitches en route to a 2-and-2 count and then hit a rocket into the rightfield seats. Stanton is 5-for-21 over his last six games, but all five have been home runs. Eight of his last 10 hits have left the park.

“I haven't had the best couple of weeks, but I've been OK in big spots and I guess that lets you catch up a little more,” Stanton said. “It’s an interesting time right now: I’m not getting too many hits but when I have, they’ve been homers.”

Judge is on pace to eclipse the 60-homer mark and Stanton, whose 59 in 2017 was the closest since 2001, called it “definitely possible.”

Asked about it Wednesday, Judge replied “it would be something that’s pretty cool. But I think having a ring on my finger at the end of the year would be even better.”

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton have homered in the same game nine times this season and the Yankees have won each of those games:

April 29 Yankees 12, Royals 2

May 3   Yankees 9, Blue Jays 1

May 10  Yankees 6, Blue Jays 5

May 12  Yankees 15, White Sox 7*

May 13  Yankees 10, White Sox 4

June 7   Yankees 10, Twins 4

June 11  Yankees 8, Cubs 0**

June 26  Yankees 6, Astros 3

June 29  Yankees 5, A's 3

*Stanton homered twice.

**Judge homered twice. 

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