Maybe the Babe’s ghost was watching over them on Tuesday night.
Aaron Judge opened the bottom of the ninth inning of what looked like a blowout loss to the Pirates with a 430-foot shot to left center for his 60th homer of the season. Judge tied Babe Ruth’s 1927 home run record and sparked a four-run rally that was capped by Giancarlo Stanton’s home run for a 9-8 win over the Pirates at Yankee Stadium.
Judge is a shy of the American League record set by Roger Maris in 1961, with Maris’ family present at the stadium to see him challenge his record.
With Pirates right-hander Will Crowe’s 430-foot shot, Judge became just the sixth player in Major League history (ninth time) to hit at least 60 home runs in a single season, tying the 1927 record. by Babe Ruth. of 60. Judge is now tied for the second-most home runs in Yankees history. He is one shy of the team and American League record set by Roger Maris in 1961.
Only Maris, Barry Bonds (73 in 2001), Mark McGwire (70 in 1998 and 65 in 1999) and Sammy Sosa (64 in 2001 and 63 in 2001) have hit more homers in a single season.
Anthony Rizzo followed Judge with a brace and Gleyber Torres drew. Josh Donaldson dropped his fly ball to shallow center and Stanton smashed his 27th homer of the season to win it.
The Yankees bullpen raised concerns again Tuesday night. After Nestor Cortes Jr. held the Pirates in five innings, the relievers allowed seven runs — six of which were earned — in four innings. Clay Holmes, who was a closer dominant at one point this season, has allowed four earned runs in his last five appearances.
Bryan Reynolds beat Lou Trivino in the seventh to tie the game and singled in the eighth to put his team ahead. He scored on Rodolfo Castro’s home run against Clay Holmes in the eighth to give Pittsburgh an 8-4 lead.
The Yankees had considered acquiring Reynolds at the trade deadline, but instead got New York native Harrison Bader, who made a stellar debut for the Bombers on Tuesday night.
“With all due respect to Yankees fans, I mean, I think it’s great for the fans here to have a New York native and a lot of fans cheering us on during games,” he said. Bader said. “I was like that when I was younger, so it’s definitely special. And again, I just want to be the best version of myself for them. I think Jeter said it best when he said the fans are booing because they want to cheer. So I’m going to go out there and do my best to give him something to cheer for. And hopefully it’s a win after nine innings.
Aaron Judge touched down at second and third bases on his first two at bats. He got an unintentional intentional walk in the fifth and Duane Underwood, Jr. hit him with a high cutter in the sixth.
After striking out on his first at bat, Bader scored a single in the run in the fifth inning. He scored from second on a great read from Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds trying to get in on Jose Trevino’s shallow ball. In the sixth inning, after a wild pitch put the runners up at second and third, Bader singled through a drawn infield to bring in both runners.
The Bombers traded left-hander Jordan Montgomery for Bader, even though he hadn’t played since June with plantar fasciitis. The New York native was thrilled to put the injury and rehabilitation in the past and kick off Tuesday night against the Pirates at Yankee Stadium.
“I’m excited to do anything. I’m excited to put on any big league uniform and I’m excited to go out there and compete at the major level,” Bader said. “So it’s definitely a special year for me here, I was in the stands here when I was younger.
“But, again at the end of the day, we have to be efficient,” Bader said. “We have a baseball game to win, so I’m just going to focus on clean routes to the ball and go out there and just hit my first cut man.”
Bader, who grew up in Bronxville and went to Horace Mann Private School, was a career .246/.320/.409 hitter in six seasons with the Cardinals. He has 52 career home runs and 168 RBIs. Bader is recognized as a top player in defense, a Cardinals official said they were willing to move him because they believed he had reached his ceiling offensively.