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Judge hits first home run of season, Yanks beat D-Backs 6-5 in 11 innings for opening 6-1 road trip

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PHOENIX (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his first home run of the season and added an RBI double in a two-run 11th inning, boosting the New York Yankees over the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-5 on Wednesday to complete an opening 6-1 road trip.

“Everyone knows 99 is our captain — we go where we he goes,” Yankees outfielder Alex Verdugo said in a reference to Judge’s jersey number. “He’s somebody who works hard every day. You can tell, he’s the captain for a reason.”

Verdugo broke a 2-2 tie in the 10th with his first Yankees home run, a two-run drive off Kevin Ginkel. Arizona tied the score in the bottom half off Clay Holmes (1-0), helped by shortstop Anthony Volpe’s throwing error.

With runners at the corners in the 11th following Gleyber Torres’ single, Scott McGough (0-1) balked in the go-ahead run when he failed to come to a set position with Juan Soto at the plate. After Soto flied out, Judge lined a double for a two-run lead.

Judge entered 3 for 24 with one RBI, his fewest hits ever through six games. He gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead with a two-run, opposite-field homer to right-center in the fourth off Merrill Kelly.

Arizona closed in the bottom of the 11th when Jorge Barrosa hit a two-out, RBI single. Because of previous moves by manager Torey Lovullo, the D-backs didn’t have a designated hitter and had to use McGough as a hitter with the bases loaded. He took a called third strike from Caleb Ferguson, who got his first save this season.

“It was a fun, exciting way to end the road trip,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

Holmes allowed three unearned runs over 1 1/3 innings as New York won for the second time in the three-game series against the defending NL champion.

Arizona tied the score in the 10th after Volpe’s throw to first was wide for an error on Geraldo Perdomo’s grounder, allowing Barrosa to score. Pinch runner Jake McCarthy moved up on a wild pitch and scored when speedy Corbin Carroll beat Volpe’s throw for a two-out infield single.

“There’s a lot to unpack here, but the bottom line is we didn’t win the game,” Lovullo said. “We need to play better inside the game to win games like this.”

Rookie Blaze Alexander hit his first major league homer in the second on a 96 mph fastball from Carlos Rodón, who gave up two runs, seven hits and three walks over 5 1/3 innings.

Ketel Marte tied the score 2-all in the fifth with a two-out, solo homer. Marte led off the first with a double for his 1,000th hit.

Kelly gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings.

“Would love to have that Judge pitch back,” Kelly said. “Just a sinker that was supposed to be away and leaked back over the middle. But overall, pretty solid day.”


Perdomo left the game in the 10th for McCarthy. Lovullo said there was a right knee issue and the shortstop is day to day.


Yankees: Host Toronto in the opener of a three-game series Friday, sending RHP Marcus Stroman (1-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound.

Diamondbacks: Start LHP Tommy Henry (0-1, 11.25) on Friday in a series opener at Atlanta.



AP Baseball Writer