NEW YORK — Aaron Judge hit a pair of opposite-field home runs and threw out a runner from center field, leading the New York Yankees over Cleveland 4-1 Friday night in the first trip to the Bronx by the renamed Guardians.
Reliever Michael King helped keep New York ahead by striking out eight in three innings, fanning his last seven batters.
Judge put the Yankees ahead in the third inning against Eli Morgan (1-1) when he followed a two-out walk to DJ LeMahieu with drive into the right field seats, over the new video board that replaced a hand-operated scoreboard. Judge added a solo shot into the short porch in the fifth off Tanner Tully, a 27-year-old left-hander who made his major league debut.
Judge entered with just one home run this season after cutting off talks on opening day for a long-term contract. It was the 17th two-homer game for Judge, who can become a free agent after the World Series.
New York led 3-1 when Andrés Giménez reached on a slow bouncer starting the fifth. He tried for third on Steven Kwan’s single to center but hesitated after rounding second. Judge threw a 90.6 mph strike to third baseman Josh Donaldson, who applied the tag.
Jameson Taillon (1-1) allowed one run and seven hits in five innings, giving up Franmil Reyes’ home run in the fourth. He kept Cleveland off-balance with 22 curves, 21 fastballs, 14 sliders, 13 changeups, eight sinkers and six cutters.
King allowed one hit and also recorded Kwan’s fourth strikeout in 51 plate appearances this season. Aroldis Chapman fanned two in a one-hit ninth for his fourth save in four chances.
José Ramírez, who entered with a big league-best .426 average, went 0 for 4 and dropped to .392. Kwan singled and doubled, raising the rookie’s average to .395, but Cleveland fanned 15 times and went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
Morgan made his first start this season, filling a slot that opened when Cal Quantrill tested positive for COVID-19. Morgan gave up two runs and one hit in three innings.
Bryan Lavastida singled to right through the shift in the third for his first big league hit after an 0-for-8 start.
BEHIND THE PLATE
Yankees manager Aaron Boone considers Kyle Higashioka and Jose Trevino as a catching tandem and neither the first-choice starter.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona turned 63.
“I’ve felt old since 1980,” he said.
Yankees outfielder Joey Gallo went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and was repeatedly booed by the crowd of 41,062 before he was removed in the eighth. He is hitting .122 after going 1 for his last 23, and he turned the wrong way on Amed Rosario’s fourth-inning drive to left, a ball that fell behind him for a double.
Guardians: INFs Yu Chang and Owen Miller and Quantrill and Anthony Castro remained on the COVID-19 IL. Chang might be eligible to come off the IL on Sunday or Monday.
LHP Kirk McCarty is scheduled to make his major league debut for the Guardians but Quantrill (0-1) could be activated in time to take the mound Saturday. “There’s some potentially moving parts that we don’t know yet with all the stuff that’s with COVID,” Francona said. LHP Nestor Cortes (0-0) is to start for the Yankees.
Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.