Yankees welcome Aaron Judge with a 10-run offensive explosion

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium during a pregame practice session on May 9, 2023.

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NEW YORK – MLB’s record-setting power-hitter Aaron Judge returned to the Yankees lineup on Tuesday night against the Oakland Athletics. The team welcomed back its captain with an offensive explosion that saw the Yankees hitting 10 runs in the game.

The reigning AL MVP has been out since April 27 with a strain of his right hip. Aaron Judge batted .261 with six homers, fourteen RBIs, and an OPS of .863 in his first season as Yankees captain.

Aaron Judge is back

On Tuesday, Aaron Judge came off the injured list and drove in two runs, helping the Yankees beat the Athletics 10-5. Aaron Boone remarked before the game that just having the American League MVP back would strengthen the lineup.

“To get one of the game’s great players back in your lineup and our leader, and all that he brings between the lines and outside, excited obviously to get him back,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said with a broad smile.

The New York Yankees had a 4-6 record during Aaron Judge’s absence, and their average run score was only 3.5 despite two games in which they scored seven runs each. Aaron Judge is the second player to return to the team from injury in the past week. The team has been struggling with injuries throughout the season, but center fielder Harrison Bader has been performing well since his return from a strained oblique muscle, which caused him to miss the start of the season.

Upon his return, Aaron Judge stated that he would not be under any restrictions and try to avoid headfirst slides. He sustained an injury on his 31st birthday on April 26 during a game in Minnesota when he made an awkward headfirst slide while trying to steal third base and landed hard, resulting in the injury.

Aaron Judge didn’t give up and returned to action the next day for Texas. He went out in the fourth inning after a pair of strikeouts but exited the game with a hip problem. After a few days, he was placed on the disabled list for the seventh time since his 2016 MLB debut.

Yankees expect Aaron Judge to return to form

Boone noted after the game that even though Aaron Judge didn’t have a hit, he still managed to impact the outcome. Aaron Judge nearly hit a home shot to center in his first at-bat, drove in two runs, and drew a walk. The manager felt that Aaron Judge’s performance during his return looked typical and satisfactory.

According to him, with the return of Aaron Judge and other injured players, such as Harrison, the Yankees’ lineup would become stronger and more challenging for their opponents.

Last weekend, Aaron Judge underwent a training session at the Yankees’ minor league complex situated in Tampa, Florida, which is approximately 30 minutes away from the location where the New York team was playing against the Rays.

“Full bore. We’ll every day check with him, obviously, and I’ll make sure how he’s doing and stuff,” Boone said. “But no, I’m not looking at him as having any restrictions.”

Last season, Aaron Judge set a new American League record by hitting 62 home runs, surpassing Roger Maris‘ record set in 1961. He was named an All-Star four times and had a batting average of .311 with 131 RBIs, which was tied with Mets’ Pete Alonso for the most in the MLB.

After becoming a free agent in November, Judge re-signed with the Yankees for $360 million spread out over the next nine years.

Yankees roster changes

After his series opener on Monday night against the Athletics, the Yankees optioned left-handed pitcher Nick Ramirez to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. This was done so that Judge could join the playing roster. Ramirez had just thrown 35 pitches over two scoreless innings, sealing a 7-2 victory.

Infielder Oswald Peraza was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right ankle injury on Saturday, while right-handed pitcher Greg Weissert was recalled from the RailRiders.

Giancarlo Stanton, who serves as the designated hitter, and third baseman Josh Donaldson are still on the injured list due to right hamstring strains. Additionally, pitchers Luis Severino and Carlos Rodón, among others, are also on the injured list.

At the start of the day, the Yankees were in the last position in the highly competitive American League East and were 10 games behind the first-place team, Tampa Bay.

Yankees roared back with a series win

After a challenging series against the Tampa Bay team, the Yankees may have seen their three-game matchup against the A’s as a much-needed break.

The Yankees recently faced the Tampa Bay team in a closely contested series, and with a four-game series against them coming up next, they might have viewed their three-game series against the Oakland team as a break. The A’s, who currently hold the worst record in the MLB (8-29), were their opponents in this series, and all three games were decided by a single run.

The Bronx Bombers bounced back from their suspension and won their first game on Monday. They scored five runs in the third inning on Tuesday, keying a 10-5 victory and securing the series victory.

After missing several games due to an injury, Aaron Judge came back to play for the Yankees and helped the team score their first run. The ball was hit so hard that Oakland’s Jace Peterson couldn’t hold it and Jose Trevino was able to score a run. The Yankees then continued their momentum with consecutive RBI singles from Anthony Rizzo, Gleyber Torres, and Harrison Bader. Jake Bauers finished off with a sacrifice fly, contributing to the team’s success.

The Yankees scored five quick runs in the third inning despite not having an extra-base hit.

In the fifth inning, Torres hit his second home run in two consecutive games, and in the seventh inning, Bauers hit a two-run homer. Yankees starter Clarke Schmidt, who had his longest outing of the season, pitched for six innings, allowing only two runs and striking out seven batters. Schmidt’s performance combined with the offense’s output was enough to secure the win for the Yankees.

Even though Jordan Diaz of Oakland hit three home runs, the Yankees were able to win because of their offense.

Clarke Schmidt went six innings, which is a career-best for him, and Clay Holmes closed it off. The Yankees are now 20-17 thanks to home runs from Gleyber Torres and Jake Bauers.

With the loss, Oakland’s record fell to an almost unbelievable 8-29, while the winners’ streak improved to five in the last seven games.

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