Aaron Judge is off to a good start to make it three in a row.
The reigning back-to-back winner of the American League Player of the Week award started this week with a bang, hitting his MLB-leading 43rd homer in the Yankees’ 7-2 win over Seattle on Monday night at the Stadium.
The Yankees (70-34) also received a three-run homer from Anthony Rizzo and two solo shots by Jose Trevino.
Though the primary headlines of the day revolved around the Yankees’ trade-deadline acquisitions of pitchers Frankie Montas, Lou Trivino and Scott Effross, Judge provided another reminder of why he’s emerged as the prohibitive favorite to capture the AL MVP award.
He didn’t miss a home run by much in the first, hitting a 383-foot double off the bottom of the left-centerfield wall after a leadoff single by DJ LeMahieu. Rizzo followed with his 26th homer, a 428-foot shot into the right-centerfield bleachers. That gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead.
It was Rizzo’s fourth homer in his last six games. “I feel like he’s been a little in and out all year,’’ Aaron Boone said, “but he’s just so productive and comes up with big at-bats when you need them, and tonight it happened to be in the first, where he gets us off to such a good start.”
After Kyle Lewis homered off Domingo German in the top of the second, Judge hit a 420-foot two-run homer to left-center into the Seattle bullpen for a 5-1 lead. At that point in the game, he was 24 for his last 50 (.480) in his last 14 games.
Judge, who is on pace to hit 67 home runs, has 42 homers and 91 RBIs in his last 88 games. He has hit 10 home runs in his last 11 games and 13 in his last 16.
“Player of the Week, back-to-back weeks, even for a guy in the middle of an MVP season, that’s like, wow,’’ Boone said. “There is a level of awe. And the season he’s putting together I think has continued to raise that level of awe.”
It was the first multi-homer game of Trevino’s career. His 393-foot rope to leftfield made it 6-2 in the fourth. He added a 423-foot drive onto the netting overhanging Monument Park in the eighth for a 7-2 lead. He has hit nine homers this season, matching his total for the first four seasons of his career.
German, likely making his last start for a while after the deal for Montas, allowed two runs and six hits in five innings.