Aaron Judge breaks slump with grand slam, Yankees snatch series from Red Sox

Aaron Judge hits a grand slam in Yankees vs. Red Sox game on Sept 14, 2023, at Fenway Park.

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Yankees slugger Aaron Judge recognized that he had faced several favorable pitches during the recent rainy games at Fenway Park but had little success in displaying those opportunities. However, on Thursday evening, he made a significant impact by smacking his sixth career grand slam.

This powerful hit was the highlight of a five-run second inning, and it played a crucial role in the Yankees’ 8-5 victory over the Red Sox, allowing them to split the separate-admission doubleheader.

Aaron Judge leads the Yankees to a big win

The Yankees slugger explained that the victory was significant, mentioning that he had several chances in recent days to drive in runs but had not succeeded. Aaron Judge emphasized the importance of getting into favorable counts and capitalizing on good pitches.

Aaron Judge’s 32nd home run ended a recent struggle where the Yankees captain had only two hits in 25 at-bats. This impressive hit left his bat with an exit velocity of 110 mph and soared a Statcast-measured distance of 418 feet into the center-field grandstand.

Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt expressed his gratitude to Aaron Judge and noted that it felt like they had reclaimed an opportunity. He mentioned that the Yankees dugout was filled with energy throughout the game, and the team had confidence that they would score many runs, which ultimately happened.

Aaron Judge celebrates with Torres after hitting a grand slam in Yankees vs. Red Sox game on Sept 14, 2023, at Fenway Park.
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DJ LeMahieu commented that Aaron Judge’s swing in that situation was typical of him, as he got a fastball he could work with and hit it well. He felt that their at-bats, as a team, were strong throughout the game.

In the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader, the Yankees suffered a 5-0 defeat. However, they bounced back in the second game to win, securing three out of four victories in a series marked by two rainouts, two day-night doubleheaders, and significant changes in Boston’s front office, including the dismissal of general manager Chaim Bloom.

Aaron Judge expressed that the day was perfect for a Yankee, acknowledging that these long days suit their team well. He emphasized the love for the game and the privilege of wearing the pinstripes every day, especially when playing in a matchup like Red Sox-Yankees at Fenway Park, which he described as unforgettable.

Yankees offensive bursts kept the Red Sox away

LeMahieu contributed to the Yankees’ score with an RBI single during the second inning. In the eighth inning, he once again delivered, bringing in the crucial go-ahead run against Mauricio Llovera, following Boston’s tying run in the seventh inning due to Triston Casas’ groundout.

LeMahieu is seen during the Yankees vs. Red Sox game on Sept 14, 2023, at Fenway Park.
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LeMahieu mentioned that they managed to get hits at crucial moments and consistently applied pressure on the opposing team throughout the game.

Schmidt took the mound for the Yankees and allowed four runs (with three being earned) on seven hits and three walks during his 5 1/3 innings of work. This included giving up a solo home run to Rafael Devers in the third inning.

Schmidt explained that he was able to make critical pitches when necessary during the game. He acknowledged that he had more walks than usual but believed they were competitive at-bats. Facing a strong lineup, he was content with getting crucial outs and inducing ground balls.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone commented that although the team didn’t have the cleanest performance in the field behind him, he thought Schmidt pitched well during the game.

Oswald Peraza runs after hitting a home run in Yankees vs. Red Sox game on Sept 14, 2023, at Fenway Park.
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Oswald Peraza added some extra cushion in the ninth inning with his first home run of the season. He raced around the bases and celebrated by pumping his fist after the ball cleared the Green Monster, resulting in a two-run homer.

Boone mentioned that it was encouraging to witness the batter in question make solid contact with the ball. He noted that while the player has been producing some positive outcomes recently, his performance in the game displayed even better results. The Yankees manager emphasized that the player has the ability to hit the ball forcefully and with authority, especially on line drives.

Peraza explained that in this league, making adjustments is crucial. He noted that he has been gradually improving his comfort level, making more consistent adjustments, and overall, he has been having better at-bats.

The Yankees (74-73) are still in mathematical contention for a postseason spot, trailing the third American League Wild Card by 7 1/2 games with just 15 games left to play. They are also striving to prevent the franchise from having its first losing season since 1992.

Aaron Judge highlighted the need to continue accumulating wins and maintain a one-day-at-a-time approach. He stressed the importance of focusing on the next game on their schedule, handling it effectively, and then moving on to the subsequent one. He acknowledged the Yankees’ success in taking three out of four games against the current opponent (Boston) and hoped for similar success in the upcoming series against Pittsburgh.

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