Aaron Judge’s pursuit of breaking the Yankees single season home run record of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961 continued in Anaheim on Tuesday night when the outfielder bashed his 51st homer of the season to help lead his team to a 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees avenged a 4-3 loss to the Angels on Monday, a game in which Judge hit homer No. 50.
“It’s just another number,” Judge said of reaching 50 in an interview on the YES Network after the one-run Yankees defeat. “It’s great, but I’m kind of upset that we lost. It’s a close game we could have won.” Judge’s 51st tied him with teammate Giancarlo Stanton (2017), Luis Gonzalez (2001), Mark McGuire (1999) and Maris (1961) for the most home runs before September. Barry Bonds holds the record at 57 (2001).
“It’s 50 and it’s August,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Monday. “It’s hard to wrap your head around just how incredible of a season he’s had to this point.”
The Yankees ended their three-game series with the Angels last night (Wednesday) and will begin a three-game set on the road tomorrow versus the Tampa Bay Rays. They will return home to the Bronx on Monday to host the Minnesota Twins for three games. The Yankees entered the series finale versus the Angles 79-51, holding a seven-game lead over the second place Rays (71-57) in the American League East division and an eight game advantage over the third place Toronto Blue Jays (70-58).
They started the week 17 games over .500 and remain the No. 2 seed in the American League, trailing the Houston Astros, who were 83-47 when they faced the Texas Rangers on the road last night. The Astros have beaten the Yankees five out of the seven games they’ve gone head-to-head this season. They have no more regular season matchups on the schedule.