Yankees’ Aaron Judge shares a comical home run story with Kyle Higashioka

Aaron Judge delivered three HR against Nationals, on August 23, 2023.
Amanda Paula
Wednesday August 23, 2023

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Following an exceptional display in the Yankees’ impressive 9-0 triumph against the Nationals, Aaron Judge shared a lighthearted story about Kyle Higashioka. Higashioka had good-naturedly teased Judge about never having achieved a three-homer game in his career, up until this most recent Thursday.

“The biggest one was Highy [Kyle Higashioka]; over the years, he’s had a three-home run game already. He’d remind me every game that I had two, saying ‘One of these days, kiddo, you will join my club, be in the exclusive club.’ So, he’s the first person I was looking for.”

Aaron Judge rescues Yankees, avoiding the worst slump since 1913

Aaron Judge - the star of the New York Yanks during the game against the Nationals, on August 23, 2023.
USA Today Sports

It’s completely expected that Aaron Judge would react this way, given that he had just accomplished his first-ever three-home run game in the major leagues. This outstanding performance resulted in a total of six RBIs, matching his personal best. His crucial role led to the New York Yankees breaking a 41-year record by ending their nine-game losing streak with a dominant 9-1 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night.

Just two hours after General Manager Brian Cashman had described the season as a “disaster,” Aaron Judge smashed a curveball from MacKenzie Gore over the Yankees bullpen in right-center during the first inning.

In the second inning, Aaron Judge further solidified their lead at 6-0 by hitting his fifth career grand slam. The ball soared into the netting above Monument Park in center field. Then, in the seventh inning, he and DJ LeMahieu consecutively hit homers against Jose A. Ferrer, with the ball narrowly clearing the short porch in right field and staying just inside the foul pole.

This incredible achievement by Aaron Judge firmly established him as only the third player in MLB history to hit three home runs in a game, thereby snapping his team’s losing streak of nine games or more. This rare accomplishment places him alongside Freddie Patek (1980) and Eddie Mathews (1952). Moreover, he became the first Yankees player to achieve the feat of hitting three home runs in a game, including a grand slam, since Alex Rodriguez did so on April 26, 2005.

In the midst of this remarkable performance, Aaron Judge’s batting average stands at .279, and he has accumulated 27 home runs and 54 RBIs over 72 games. Despite being known for his 32 multihomer games and being the reigning AL MVP, Aaron Judge entered the game after a rough patch of 3 hits in 19 at-bats. His return to play happened after an absence of nearly eight weeks due to a sprained right big toe, which he resumed playing with before it was fully healed.

Before Aaron Judge’s first home run, the New York Yankees, who were languishing in last place with a 61-65 record, had gone 61 innings without holding a lead since August 14 against Atlanta. This marked the franchise’s third-longest streak of this nature in history, trailing only the 63 innings from August 16-23, 1906, and the 62 innings from September 25 to October 1, 2000.

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