SEATTLE (AP) — Aaron Judge had already done more than his part at the plate with two home runs, a double and a walk.
Robbing a home run with a majestic leaping catch at the wall took an MVP-caliber performance to another level.
“That's one of the great individual games that you'll see,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after New York's 10-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
There were plenty of storylines for the Yankees as they opened a West Coast swing — yet Judge overshadowed them all.
Domingo Germán pitched into the seventh inning to win his first start following a 10-game suspension for using a foreign substance on the mound. The Yankees had a season-high 18 hits and scored 10 runs for the second straight game. Jake Bauers homered and doubled, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Willie Calhoun each had a key two-run double as part of New York's outburst, most of it coming against Seattle rookie Bryce Miller.
But they couldn't match the reigning AL MVP.
“It's tough to rate it myself. I'm just out there trying to do my job,” Judge said. “Just trying to make plays for my team, especially at the top of the lineup."
Judge’s first homer was a line-drive, two-run shot off the left-field foul pole in the third inning to give New York a 3-1 lead.
The slugger settled for a double off the wall in the fifth, but got enough to clear it the next time up. His 17th homer came off reliever Juan Then in the seventh and eluded Jarred Kelenic’s leaping attempt at the left-field fence.
It was Judge’s 31st career multi-homer game and first since May 15 at Toronto. He also had two homers on May 13 against Tampa Bay.
And if his swings at the plate weren't enough, Judge stole a homer from Teoscar Hernández at the right-field wall in the eighth.
“He's really good. He knows his game. He doesn't get away from it. That's why he was the MVP last year,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
That was plenty of support for Germán, who made his first start since May 16 at Toronto when he was ejected in the fourth inning of New York’s 6-3 victory. After the game, umpire crew chief James Hoye said Germán had “the stickiest hand I’ve ever felt.” The pitcher was suspended 10 games on May 17.
Germán scattered seven hits and permitted four runs over 6 1/3 innings in his return, with Julio Rodríguez the only batter he couldn’t solve. Rodríguez hit his 10th homer of the season and had a two-run single off Germán.
Germán (3-3) struck out four and was lifted before facing Rodríguez for a fourth time with two on in the seventh. Ron Marinaccio struck out Rodríguez and Kelenic to end the threat.
“I was just focused on getting the job done today, executing pitches, staying calm through different situations in the game, and I wanted to go as deep as possible,” Germán said through a translator.
After his first five starts were spectacular, Miller (3-2) finally ran into an obstacle in the Yankees. He had allowed four runs in 31 1/3 innings and had thrown at least six innings in each start to begin his career.
But Miller’s fastball wasn’t sharp and the Yankees feasted on pitches in the middle of the plate. The first home run allowed by Miller will forever be memorable, a drive that exited Judge’s bat at 117 mph.
“We got to good counts against him and just didn’t finish,” Miller said.
Bauers hit his third homer leading off the fourth and New York knocked out Miller after 4 2/3 innings following the doubles from Calhoun and Kiner-Falefa.
Miller allowed 11 hits and eight earned runs.
Yankees: CF Harrison Bader left in the third with right hamstring tightness after legging out an infield single....1B Anthony Rizzo was held out with a stiff neck.
Mariners: RHP Andrés Muñoz (deltoid strain) is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday. Muñoz was going to be a key piece of Seattle’s bullpen but has been out since early April.
Yankees: LHP Nestor Cortes (4.2, 5.30 ERA) has thrown six innings in each of his past two starts after pitching that deep only twice in his first eight starts of the season.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (3-2, 3.60) tied a career high by pitching eight innings in his last start against Oakland. Gilbert is 2-1 with a 3.06 ERA in May, with 35 strikeouts and five walks.