Aaron Judge #99 of the Yankees follows through on his...

Aaron Judge #99 of the Yankees follows through on his eighth inning run scoring sacrifice fly against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, May 9, 2023. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Aaron Judge had a mostly quiet return from the injured list.

But the Yankees didn’t need him, not on this night, not against the A’s, this year a Major League Baseball club in name only.

Behind a five-run third inning and a pair of two-run homers from Gleyber Torres and Jake Bauers later in the game, the Yankees, who also got a solid outing from the struggling Clarke Schmidt, beat the A’s, 10-5, Tuesday night in front of 33,569 at the Stadium.

“A lot of good things,” Aaron Boone said. “Everyone kind of getting in on the act was good.”

Judge, activated earlier in the day from the injured list (right hip strain), went 0-for-3 with a walk, two RBIs and a run scored. Judge drove in a run in the third, an inning that featured three straight RBI singles by Anthony Rizzo, Torres and the still-hot Harrison Bader.

“I think just overall tonight we had good at-bats,” said Rizzo, who went 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

The Yankees (20-17), who have won five of their last seven, had 10 hits. They got three by Bader and two each by Rizzo and Torres.

Bader, who missed the first month-plus of the season with an oblique strain, is slashing .440/.462/.840 with two homers, two triples and eight RBIs in his first seven games of the season.

Schmidt (1-3. 5.35 ERA) allowed two runs, five hits and two walks in six innings against an A’s team that fell to an MLB-worst 8-29. Schmidt, especially pleased with his curveball, struck out seven.

“The curveball’s been getting better and better each outing,” Schmidt said. “The shape of it is really sharp . . . it was good to kind of lean on that and get some putaways with it. Really happy with where the breaking pitches are at.”

Oakland righthander Drew Rucinski (0-3, 8.16) allowed seven runs (five earned), six hits and three walks. Oakland did have one highlight — a three-homer night by rookie second baseman Jordan Diaz, the third of those, a two-run shot in the eighth off Greg Weissert to make it 9-5. Diaz had entered the game with one career home run in 87 major-league at-bats.

The A’s actually led in the game, scoring a run in the first on Jace Peterson’s RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Schmidt wasn’t touched again until Diaz’s first homer of the night, which came in the fourth, but the offense already had erupted.

It occurred in the bottom of the third when the Yankees sent nine to the plate. Jose Trevino and Aaron Hicks, who homered in Monday night’s victory, walked to start the inning (Hicks left in the fourth with left hip tightness and afterward the outfielder said he still felt soreness there).

Anthony Volpe’s long fly out to center allowed Trevino to take third. Judge hit a grounder to third where Peterson booted it for an error, which got Trevino home to tie it 1-1.

Rizzo laced an RBI single to center for a 2-1 lead. Torres followed with an RBI single to center to make it 3-1 and Bader made it 4-1 with an RBI single to center. Bauers’ sacrifice fly to left brought in Torres.

Torres, after a Rizzo single, took Rucinski deep in the fifth, the second baseman’s sixth homer making it 7-2, and Bauers’ two-run shot in the seventh made it 9-3.

“We responded right away,” Rizzo said of the offense coming back after the 1-0 deficit.

The Yankees responded, too, after a tough weekend series at Tampa Bay when they lost two of three, both one-run losses.

“It feels good to have offensive production like that and rebound after a tough last series and just come back and play good baseball,” Rizzo said.


 

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