ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Judge became the second major league rookie with a 40-homer season, going deep twice as the AL wild card-leading New York Yankees got a series clinching 16-7 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
Gary Sanchez also hit two solo homers for the Yankees, giving him 30 this season and 50 in his 161 games since his 2015 debut.
With Judge’s AL-best 40th homer in the fourth, the 25-year-old joined Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle as the only Yankees to hit 40 homers at age 25 or younger. Judge added No. 41 two innings later, a drive that would have gone 463 feet unimpeded, according to MLB’s Statcast.
Mark McGwire hit a league-high 49 homers as a rookie for Oakland in 1987.
Judge had his third multihomer game this year, his first since June 11. He has four homers in seven games since breaking a homerless skid of 57 at-bats and 15 games that stretched back to Aug. 16.
Didi Gregorius tied a career high with four hits while driving in four runs for the Yankees (77-65), who have won three straight series for the first time since late July and moved 12 games over .500 for the first time since June 15. New York is 3½ games ahead of Minnesota for the AL’s top wild card and 3½ games behind AL East-leading Boston.
After dropping two of three in the weekend series, the Rangers (71-71) were still 2½ games behind the Twins with three weeks left.
Judge’s second homer of the game ricocheted off a facade high above the Yankees bullpen in left-center field, and the ball then dropped among the relievers. His first homer capped a six-run outburst for a 9-1 lead, landing in the Rangers bullpen in right-center field.
Along with his homers, Judge walked in the second — his MLB rookie-record 107th this season — and had a sacrifice fly.
Chad Green (4-0) struck out four in 2 1/3 innings after taking over for starter Jordan Montgomery in the fourth.
Texas starter A.J. Griffin (6-6) gave up five runs pitching into the fourth. Reliever Nick Martinez then allowed four consecutive hits before a double-play grounder and Judge’s first homer.
Yankees: Manager Joe Girardi expects OF Clint Frazier, on the DL since Aug. 9 with a left oblique strain, to rejoin the Yankees this week from his injury rehab assignment at Double-A Trenton.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor left with a sprained right angle after getting tangled up with a sliding Nomar Mazara when both were chasing a popup down the right field line in the fifth. X-rays were negative and Odor will be re-evaluated Sunday. … CF Carlos Gomez (high right ankle sprain) has been told not to put weight on his foot for a couple of days after getting hurt coming out of the batter’s box in Saturday’s game.
Yankees: Back to New York to open a series Monday night against Tampa Bay at Citi Field, home of the Mets. The Yankees will be the visiting team for the series moved from St. Petersburg, Florida, because of Hurricane Irma. The Yankees will play 17 of their last 20 games in New York City.
Rangers: Cole Hamels (9-3), who has allowed 14 earned runs over 15 1-3 innings while going 0-2 his last three starts, starts Monday night in the opener of a four-game home series against the Seattle Mariners.
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