New look Yankees muscle up against rival Astros, 6-2

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New York Yankees 6, Houston Astros 2

HOUSTON — In a dazzling display of talent, Jasson Dominguez achieved the remarkable feat of becoming the youngest Yankees player to hit a home run in his very first career at-bat. Simultaneously, Aaron Judge made history by reaching 250 home runs faster than any other major league player. These outstanding performances powered New York to a resounding 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros on a memorable Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

DJ LeMahieu wasted no time, sending Justin Verlander’s second pitch soaring into the right-field seats for a leadoff home run. The first inning was already showing two outs when Verlander issued a walk to Giancarlo Stanton.

Yankees youth brigade stole the limelight

However, the highlight of the inning came when DomĂ­nguez, often compared to legends like Bo Jackson and Mike Trout, stepped up for his first swing in the major leagues and connected off Verlander (10-7), expanding the lead to 3-0.

At the incredibly young age of 20 years and 206 days, the much-anticipated DomĂ­nguez achieved the remarkable distinction of becoming the youngest Yankees player to hit a home run in his debut MLB game. Notably, he was the first Yankees batter to accomplish this feat since Judge on August 13, 2016.

Following DomĂ­nguez’s impressive opposite-field home run to the short left porch, which came off a three-time Cy Young Award winner twice his age, TV cameras quickly turned to his family. Their ecstatic reactions were captured as they cheered and leaped with joy after witnessing the ball clear the fence.

In his MLB debut on Friday night, Austin Wells kicked off the action with a single in the second inning. Unfortunately, the Yankees couldn’t capitalize on that hit to generate more runs during that inning.

Yankees bullpen, veterans too stepped in

In response, JosĂ© Abreu ignited the Astros’ offense with a solo home run in the bottom half of the inning, narrowing the gap to just two runs. However, the Yankees extended their lead when Giancarlo Stanton delivered a two-run homer in the third inning.

The Astros showed resilience as Kyle Tucker smashed an RBI double in the bottom of the same inning, reducing the Yankees’ lead to 5-2.

In the fifth inning, Judge unleashed a solo home run off Verlander, solidifying his status as the fastest player in major league history to reach 250 home runs. The reigning 2022 AL MVP achieved this remarkable milestone in just his 810th career game, surpassing the previous record held by Philadelphia slugger Ryan Howard, who accomplished it in 2010 in his 855th game.

At the start of the fifth inning, Judge wasted no time, sending the very first pitch he saw soaring into the train tracks above the left-field stands, further extending New York’s lead to 6-2. A wide smile adorned Judge’s face as he made his triumphant trip around the bases, and upon returning to the dugout, he received enthusiastic high-fives from many of his teammates.

This remarkable home run marked Judge’s 30th of the season, an impressive feat considering he had missed nearly two months due to a toe injury. Notably, the slugger had set a phenomenal record last year by hitting 62 home runs, surpassing Roger Maris’ longstanding American League record of 61 set back in 1961.

Verlander struggled, surrendering eight hits and six runs over six innings. Notably, the four home runs he gave up marked a season high, as he had not allowed more than two in any game this year.

On the other side, New York’s starting pitcher, Carlos Rodon (2-4), limited the opposition to just three hits and two runs across five innings.

With Harrison Bader claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds, DomĂ­nguez is anticipated to step into the role of the team’s everyday center fielder. This prized prospect has injected instant energy into the struggling Yankees, who, in the last month of this disappointing season, are now shifting their attention toward building for the future.

Domínguez made history by becoming the youngest player to grace the field for the Yankees since 19-year-old pitcher José Rijo in July 1984. Among position players, he is the youngest since 20-year-old outfielder Stan Javier in April 1984.

UP NEXT

On Saturday night, the series will continue with New York’s right-handed pitcher Luis Severino (4-8, 6.64 ERA) facing off against Houston’s right-handed pitcher Hunter Brown (10-9, 4.47 ERA).

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