The Yankees Beat the Royals 11-5 in an eight-run 8th Inning

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Aaron Judge Hits His 41st Home Run with a Grand Slam

As the New York Yankees rallied to defeat the Kansas City Royals 11-5 on Friday, Aaron Judge became the first big leaguer with 40 home runs this season, smashed a grand slam for No. 41, and robbed a home run in right field.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a game-tying single in the eighth inning to give New York its 29th comeback victory.

Throughout the night, Judge was showered with “MVP!” chants, none louder than after his slam in the eighth sealed yet another Yankees rally. He also singled and drove in six runs.

On a rainy night in the Bronx, Judge and Anthony Rizzo homered early, but Kansas City rallied against Gerrit Cole, with Whit Merrifield’s two-run single in the fifth ending the Royals’ 31 2/3-inning scoreless streak.

In his return from the IL, Salvador Perez tied the game at 5-3 with a three-run homer.

New York wiped it out with a wild eighth inning that followed a 23-minute rain delay.

Shortstop Maikel Garcia booted Josh Donaldson’s grounder off the slick infield after Rizzo and Gleyber Torres singled with one out.

Andrew Benintendi‘s bases-loaded grounder was gloved by diving first baseman Nick Pratto, but pitcher Scott Barlow (4-4) failed to cover first, allowing Benintendi to score with an RBI single — his first hit with the Yankees since being traded from the Royals on Wednesday.

The next pitch from Barlow skipped near Aaron Hicks’ feet, and plate umpire Chris Guccione called it an RBI hit by pitch. That ruling was overturned on video replay, but Hicks walked on a full count a few pitches later to tie the game at 5-5.

Kiner-Falefa then singled to left, and Jose Trevino followed with an RBI groundout to put the game out of reach at 7-5. Judge clubbed his fourth career slam off Jackson Kowar before DJ LeMahieu walked.

Judge started the game by reaching over the right-field fence to prevent MJ Melendez from hitting a home run, then hit a 449-foot, two-run shot in the third inning. It was his second home run in three at-bats, following a game-winning drive in the ninth inning of Thursday’s 1-0 victory over Kansas City.

Except for the fifth inning, Cole was unstoppable. He was removed after six innings, with nine strikeouts and no walks. Five of the seven hits he gave up came in the fifth inning, as did all five runs charged against him.

NEXT UP

Nestor Cortes (8-3, 2.48 ERA) pitches in his second start for the Yankees since pitching in the All-Star Game. He’ll take on Royals veteran RHP Zack Greinke (3-6, 4.35), who could be traded before the deadline on Tuesday.

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