Judge, Andujar homer to propel Yankees
NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Boone bristles at the notion his New York Yankees are all or nothing, built entirely on home runs.
“I think it’s a silly argument,” the manager said. “That does bother me, actually.”
Maybe, but it’s sure a quick way to light up the scoreboard.
Aaron Judge and Miguel Andujar hit two-run homers off James Paxton in the first inning that sent the Yankees over the Seattle Mariners 4-3 on Thursday for a three-game sweep.
Luis Severino and the Yankees boosted the best record in the majors to 50-22. They’ve won four in a row and 17 of 21.
“We’ve obviously played well, racked up a lot of wins,” Boone said. “We’ve played well against some of the elite teams.”
Seattle, which was 20 games over .500 coming into the Bronx this week, has lost a season-high four straight.
New York launched eight homers in the sweep and tops baseball with 122 long balls. Andujar sliced a drive the other way, and it barely settled into the short right-field porch.
“Both teams play in the same park. I thought it was a flyball because most places we play, it’s probably a flyball,” Paxton said. “But it got out of here and that’s just the ballpark and you’re going to have that sometimes. You just have to deal with it and move on.”
Giancarlo Stanton homered in the first two games of the series and almost added another, but Mariners center fielder Mitch Haniger jumped to reach above the wall to rob him in the opening inning.
Severino (11-2) wasn’t at his best. He gave up Kyle Seager’s two-run homer in the second and permitted eight hits overall, matching a season most. He was pulled with two outs in the sixth after Ben Gamel’s RBI single cut Seattle’s deficit to one run.
“Today, I wasn’t the best,” Severino said.
Severino improved to 7-0 at home this season. David Robertson and Dellin Betances protected the lead, and Aroldis Chapman struck out Dee Gordon on three pitches with a runner on second for his 22nd save in 23 chances,
Paxton (6-2) vigorously pawed at the dirt in front of the rubber for a full 15 seconds before throwing his first warmup pitch. Coming off his shortest start of the year against Boston, he never got settled in his first career start facing the Yankees.
Clint Frazier led off with a single and Judge followed with his 19th homer. Gleyber Torres singled with two outs and Andujar’s fly became the rookie’s 10th home run.
Paxton drifted a few steps onto the grass as the ball flew and gazed toward center field when it left the park. Andujar was among several New York hitters who successfully went the opposite way against the big lefty.
“Just kind of had trouble getting it going today,” he said. “I didn’t really have much going, early especially, and just had to battle. I didn’t have much. Made some better pitches late, but just really, not much command. Just a tough day.”
Paxton had been 5-0 in 10 starts since April, including a no-hitter at Toronto. He went five innings and threw 107 pitches, the same total as Severino.
The first day of summer brought a sellout crowd that included a bunch of camp kids who cheered most every flyball. Also in attendance was an older Boy of Summer — 90-year-old Tommy Lasorda watched from a box, along with Kentucky coach John Calipari and Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
NICE TO SEE YA
Seattle shortstop Andrew Romine started against his brother, Yankees catcher Austin, for the first time in the majors. They had a good laugh when the 32-year-old Andrew came up to lead off the second inning, and he playfully popped his 29-year-old sibling in the chest protector.
“That’s big bro,” Austin said. “He got me pretty good.”
Frazier has scored a run in all seven games he’s played this season. He’s also gotten a hit in all when he’s batted. The 23-year-old was in the leadoff spot for the first time in his big league career and played center field. He’s batting .368 after getting two hits.
Frazier sustained a concussion in spring training and had been in the minors until recently. The red-haired sparkplug knows he could be headed back to Triple-A when a sore Brett Gardner heals.
“Thought about it every day,” Frazier said.
Is there a way he could stay on the roster?
“I think there’s an avenue for that,” Boone said.
Mariners: OF Guillermo Heredia again was out of the starting lineup. He’s in an 0-for-15 skid, part of a rough June. He pinch ran in the eighth and was caught stealing at second.
Yankees: Put RHP A.J. Cole on the 10-day disabled list because of a left neck strain, a move was retroactive to Wednesday. RHP Luis Cessa was reinstated from the 10-day DL (oblique); he hasn’t pitched for the Yankees since April 17.
Mariners: LHP Wade LeBlanc (3-0, 2.63 ERA) starts at Fenway Park vs. Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright (2-1, 1.23). LeBlanc pitched into the eighth inning against Boston in his last outing, a 1-0 win.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (4-2, 3.30) starts at Tampa Bay. He lost to the Rays in his last start, striking out 10 and giving up 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings.
By Ben Walker of the Associated Press.