The New York Yankees were largely underwhelming in 2023. The team currently sits in fourth place in the American League East with a record of 78 wins and 76 losses, seven games out of the wild card race.
Superstar Aaron Judge is coming off a historic 2022 season, with the slugger limited to 100 games so far this year due to injuries. Judge gave the Yankees a reason to celebrate when he hit three home runs in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.
This home run marked the second time this season that Judge hit three balls over the outfield wall, setting a Yankees record. “It’s unbelievable,” Judge said after New York won 7-1. “You can see here the list of players who stayed and the list of players who retired, but I was just trying to do my job.”
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Judge hit a three-run home run in the third inning and a two-run homer in the fifth inning off rookie starting pitcher Brandon Furth. The star outfielder added his third home run of the night, reaching the second deck of the right field seats on a solo run off Slade Cecconi.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “It’s great that they’re doing something special.” “Those kinds of things happen that are kind of crazy, but it’s just a special player. It’s no surprise he’s on that list.”
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After rounding the bases, Judge received a curtain call from the Yankee Stadium crowd as teammate Gleyber Torres emerged from the batter’s box.
“It was amazing,” the judge said. “I love it whenever Yankee fans want to show their love and appreciation. It was a really great moment.” Only five other Yankees players have hit three home runs in multiple games.
Lou Gehrig, who also hit four home runs against the Athletics in Philadelphia in June 1926, leads the Yankees with four similar games. Joe DiMaggio and Alex Rodriguez had three, and Tony Lazzeri and Bobby Mercer each had two.
Judge’s first career three-homer game occurred last month. In a game against the Washington Nationals on August 23, Judge hit three home runs, helping lead New York to a 9-1 victory. With this victory, the Yankees’ losing streak ended at nine.
Judge is batting .267 with 35 home runs and 70 RBIs in 100 games this season. He sprained his right big toe at Dodger Stadium on June 3 and missed nearly eight weeks. He returned to action on July 28th.
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“I missed a lot of time, I missed a lot of opportunities. That’s the way I look at it,” Judge said.
The five-time All-Star hit 62 home runs last season, breaking the American League record of 61 set by former Yankees slugger Roger Maris in 1961.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.