LOS ANGELES — Three of California’s own did in their state’s most popular baseball team.
With Gerrit Cole rebounding from what has been a rough recent stretch and Jake Bauers and Aaron Judge adding a combined three home runs — two of them two-run shots by Bauers — the Yankees beat the Dodgers, 6-3, on Saturday in front of a sellout crowd of 52,975 at Dodger Stadium.
It was a good bounce-back for the Yankees (35-25), who saw Luis Severino get beaten up Friday night in an 8-4 loss.
Despite the two homers by Bauers, who grew up less than an hour away in Newport Beach and hit his homers in the second and fourth innings to build a 4-1 lead, it was Judge again stealing the show — appropriate for this iconic stadium located so close to Hollywood.
Judge, a Bay Area native and fan of the Giants growing up, hit his 19th homer of the season in the sixth inning to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead.
But the vast majority of buzz afterward related to a catch Judge made in the eighth, one that threw a scare into Aaron Boone and much of the dugout.
After tracking down a drive by J.D. Martinez off Michael King just in front of the rightfield wall to keep it a 5-3 game, Judge crashed through the rickety bullpen door, leading with his left shoulder. Judge, momentarily staggered, was checked on by Boone and two trainers for a couple of minutes but stayed in the game.
“He’s amazing, man,” said Cole (7-0, 2.82), who allowed one run, four hits and two walks in six innings before being removed because of cramping in his legs after 80 pitches. “There’s some great players in this series, no doubt, a couple Hall of Famers on the other side as well. But he’s just on another level.”
Judge, who robbed the Mariners’ Teoscar Hernandez of a home run Monday night in Seattle, tried to wave Boone and the trainers back to the dugout, a sign that he was OK, but the trio made it out to rightfield anyway.
“We’re feeling good,” Judge said. “I think the fence got most of it.”
Of his message to Boone (and the trainers), Judge smiled and said: “I told them to get out of here because King’s rolling right now and we want to get out of this inning. They did the normal check, said, ‘Great catch,’ and I said, ‘Let’s beat it, guys. We have to finish this inning.’ ”
“Oh, no,” Boone said of his initial reaction. “Your heart skips a beat when the fence goes flying open, but just another great play.”
The Yankees had only six hits, but four were home runs and one was a triple by DJ LeMahieu. Judge’s home run, a laser beam down the leftfield line in the sixth, was his fifth in his last six games and 13th in his last 19 games.
Cole, 1-0 but with a 5.67 ERA in his previous five starts, mostly shut down the Dodgers (35-24), who entered the day leading the National League in runs per game (5.64), runs (327), home runs (100), extra-base hits (220), slugging percentage (.465) and walks (247).
“I did a hydration test and I’m hydrated, so I guess it was just one of those days — tough work, tough lineup, making me execute a lot of pitches,” said Cole, who grew up a Yankees fan in nearby Newport. “We managed it well, but getting into the later innings, didn’t want to risk anything.”
Cole’s cramps contributed to the game tightening. Wandy Peralta didn’t have it after coming on in the seventh. He allowed all three batters he faced to reach base and was charged with two runs (one inherited when Michael King gave up an RBI single by Miguel Rojas that made it 5-3).
King got out of the seventh without any additional damage and got through the eventful eighth without allowing a run, stranding Max Muncy at third. Clay Holmes, provided a 6-3 lead when Oswaldo Cabrera homered in the ninth, walked one in a scoreless inning for his sixth save in eight chances.