Aaron Judge limited New York’s opening offensive against Seattle All-Star UC Kikuchi with his 20th home run of the season, and the Yankees won 5–4 over the Mariners.
SEATTLE — During the New York Yankees’ recent meltdown, Aaron Judge talked about the need to start the bat early and be in position to play from behind.
For the last two games, the Yankees’ big slugger has played his part in ensuring that New York’s offense is delivering some early punch.
“Big. You can just tell that the flow of the game is different,” said the judge. “Our pitchers are able to attack people differently. The guys at the plate might be a little more comfortable knowing that we have already Got the edge, I can really focus on trying to get my pitch and drive it instead of trying to do too much.”
Judge stopped New York’s opening offensive against Seattle All-Star UC Kikuchi with his 20th home run of the season, and the Yankees registered a 5-4 win over the Mariners on Wednesday night.
For the second straight game, the Yankees conceded a flurry of runs in the first two innings, but this time suffered a late rally from Seattle.
Judge’s two-run homer was added to the second deck of left field seats and gave New York a 5–1 lead. Luke Voight had a two-out RBI single in the first innings and Gleber Torres followed with a two-run single as the Yankees scored three in the first innings for the second straight game.
“When we get the lead it changes everything for us,” Judge said.
Kikuchi (6-4) struggled hard on his first start since becoming an All-Star for the first time. His fastball velocity was low and both his cutter and slider caught the plate too high early in the game.
The result was too loud contact from the Yankees that Kikuchi was lucky not to result in more runs. Kikuchi allowed a season-high five runs and eight hits and later in his outing settled for retiring the last seven batsmen and conceding five innings.
“The main thing was not the velocity of my fastball, as well as my command,” Kikuchi said through an interpreter. “And my secondary pitches weren’t as fast as ever.”
Domingo German was originally scheduled to start for the Yankees, but went through an emergency root canal on Wednesday morning and was scratched from the start. Nick Nelson started off and failed to make the first innings thanks to three walks, a hit batsman and a wild pitch that scored a run for Seattle.
Luis Cesa (2-1) became the difference maker for the Yankees. Sesa threw 3 1/3 solid innings after Nelson, including avoiding a jam in the first innings. Sesa allowed just one hit.
“He was awesome. He was able to give us 3 1/3 (innings) to be pitch efficient, which was huge. That was the bridge,” said New York manager Aaron Boone.
The German felt good enough to throw three innings from the bullpen. He scored five, but also missed Tom Murphy’s three-run homer in the sixth innings. All three were not scored after a mistake early in the innings by Gio Ursella.
It was Murphy’s first home run since June 1.
Jonathan Loisiga in eighth and Chad Green for his third defense replaced Aroldis Chapman in ninth, who struggled late and pitched in Tuesday’s opener.
“I just felt in my gut that he called that place (Green), and so I went with it,” Boone said.
The Mariners celebrated the 10th anniversary of 3B Kyle Seeger’s Major League debut on Wednesday. Cesar is the 11th player in Mariners’ history to have played at least 10 seasons with the club. Seeger would have liked a better day at the plate – he was hitless with two strikes.
Seattle LHP Hector Santiago is expected to appeal his 10-game suspension for using a grip-enhancing foreign substance heard Thursday, manager Scott Servais said.
Santiago became the first player disciplined under Major League Baseball’s crackdown on foreign substances when he was handed a 10-game suspension. The suspension was issued after the umpires ruled out Santiago on June 26 against the Chicago White Sox.
Santiago has appeared in two matches since appealing the suspension.
Mariners: LHP Justus Sheffield (forearm strain) was placed on a 10-day injured list and RHP Eric Swanson was reinstated from Triple-A Tacoma. Sheffield shook for six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings on Tuesday and indicated the latter was dealing with an injury. Swanson was on a rehab assignment in the minors after losing time with a groin strain.
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (3-3, 4.17) makes his 17th start and is coming off a loss to the Mets where he allowed three earned runs and six hits in a 4/1/3 innings.
Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (2-2, 4.10) made his 10th start. Gilbert allowed two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings on his last start against Rangers.
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