Aaron Judge makes Yankees history in three-home run night

Aaron Judge notched three home runs on Friday night at Yankee Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks, becoming the first player in New York Yankees history to conquer the feat twice in a single season.|Art or Photo Credit: AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge became the first player in Yankees history with two three-homer games in one season, and New York cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night.

Arizona's five-game winning streak was snapped, and the Diamondbacks' lead over the Chicago Cubs for the second of three National League Wild Card spots was reduced to one game. Arizona dropped to 1-7 against New York teams this season after dropping six of seven to the Mets.

Judge hit a three-run shot in the third inning and a two-run drive in the fifth off rookie starter Brandon Pfaadt (2-9). The slugger got his third homer with a solo drive off Slade Cecconi in the seventh.

It was the second career three-homer game for Judge — both in the past month. He also went deep three times on Aug. 23 at home against Washington to help New York break its first nine-game losing streak since 1982.

Judge went 4-for-4 with a double and tied a career-high six RBIs. He is hitting .267 with 35 homers and 70 RBIs in 100 games this season.

The reigning AL MVP got his eighth career four-hit game and first since May 20 at Cincinnati. He drove in six for the fourth time in his career.

Trying to avoid their first losing season since going 76-86 in 1992 during Buck Showalter’s first year as manager, the Yankees moved two games over .500 at 78-76. Still, they are close to being eliminated from playoff contention.

Judge’s first homer gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Two batters after Pfaadt committed an error by misplaying Oswald Peraza’s soft comebacker, Judge lifted a first-pitch sinker into the New York bullpen in right-center.

His two-run drive to right-center in the fifth made it 6-0. After rounding the bases in the seventh, Judge took a curtain call from the Yankee Stadium crowd of 39,143 and tipped his cap as teammate Gleyber Torres stepped out of the batter’s box.

Judge was left in the on-deck circle when Estevan Florial made the final out of the eighth.

Judge is hitting .267 with 35 homers and 70 RBIs in 100 games this season. He missed nearly eight weeks after spraining his right big toe on June 3 at Dodger Stadium. He returned to the lineup July 28.

The five-time All-Star hit 62 home runs last season, breaking the previous American League record of 61 set by former Yankees slugger Roger Maris in 1961.

In his second start since being claimed off waivers from Seattle on Sept. 14, former Diamondbacks pitcher Luke Weaver (3-5) earned his first win for the Yankees. He allowed four hits in 5 1/3 innings for his first victory since July 3 with Cincinnati.

Jhony Brito gave up Christian Walker's 31st homer in the ninth but pitched 3 2/3 innings for his first career save.

A week after throwing 5 1/3 scoreless innings against the Cubs, Pfaddt allowed six runs (five earned) and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.


Diamondbacks: RHP Miguel Castro was placed on the paternity list and flew to the Dominican Republic. “We’re happy for him,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “We’re ecstatic for him." Castro is expected to return Monday for the start of a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox. … Cecconi, who made six appearances earlier this year, was recalled from Triple-A Reno.

Yankees: LHP Wandy Peralta (strained left triceps) was placed on the injured list and will miss the rest of the season. A free agent after this season, Peralta is 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in 63 appearances. “Wandy’s been awesome,” manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s a leader. He’s tough. He takes the ball. You trust him in any situation." … RHP Yoendrys Gómez was recalled from Double-A Somerset to replace Peralta and could make a start during the final week. In 19 starts with Somerset, Gómez was 0-3 with a 3.58 ERA. … OF Everson Pereira (hamstring) missed his eighth straight game but is progressing, according to Boone.


Arizona RHP Zach Davies (2-5, 6.81 ERA) opposes New York LHP Carlos Rodón (3-6, 5.90) on Saturday afternoon, though heavy rain is in the forecast.