BALTIMORE (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 37th home run, fellow All-Star Nestor Cortes pitched six sharp innings and the New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles 6-0 on Sunday.
Jose Trevino, another Yankees All-Star, had the first four-hit game of his career. New York, with the best record in the big leagues, took two of three and has won 22 of 32 series this year.
“It’s always big to win a series,” Yankees manager Aaron Judge said. “You don’t take that for granted whether you’re in a hot streak like we’ve been at times this year or you’re struggling a little bit. Series wins are not to be taken lightly.”
Judge has seven home runs in his last nine games and leads the majors with 81 RBIs. He also raised his batting average to .294, which has been a key area of focus.
“I saw a lot of the greats — Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera — they always hit above .300 and the power just came with it,” Judge said. “That’s always been a goal of mine to hit above .300 and we’ll keep working towards it.”
Cortes (8-3) allowed six hits, struck out seven and walked none while lowering his ERA from 2.63 to 2.48. The 27-year-old lefty began his MLB career with the Orioles in 2018. He has gone 2-0 with a 0.46 in four appearances (three starts) against Baltimore at Oriole Park in his career.
“I go out there every fifth day like I do against any other team but for some reason, I have more success against the Orioles,” Cortes said. “It feels good to do that.”
Clarke Schmidt pitched three innings and earned his first career save.
New York scored three times in the third on a double by DJ LeMahieu and a two-run drive by Judge off Dean Kremer (3-2). Judge has nine homers in his last 12 games against Baltimore and 36 over his career — his most against any opponent.
“I don’t think anybody should pitch to him,” Orioles catcher Robinson Chirinos said. “The guy is unbelievable. He’s hitting good pitches. He’s hitting mistakes. Normally when a guy’s hot, he’s hitting doubles and singles. He’s hitting the ball out of the ballpark, and it’s crazy. He’s a good hitter. What can you say?”
The Yankees lead the majors with 166 homers, the most they’ve hit through the first 96 games of a season in franchise history.
Isiah Kiner-Falefa extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single and Trevino followed with a double that increased the lead to 5-0 in the sixth. Aaron Hicks drove in the sixth run with a single in the ninth.
Every member of the Orioles’ 40-man roster is now vaccinated, the club said. That means the entire team can travel to division rival Toronto on Aug. 15-17.
The Yankees used four outfielders in the second against Adley Rutschman, who hit a fly ball to left that was dropped by second baseman Gleyber Torres on the warning track. The official scorer initially charged Torres with an error but later awarded Rutschman his 18th double in 19 games.
The Yankees have won at least 66 of their first 97 games for the 10th time in franchise history.
Yankees: RHP Shane Greene was designated for assignment. Greene made his first appearance for the Yankees since he was a rookie in 2014 on Saturday and gave up a home run.
Yankees: RHP Ron Marinaccio (shoulder inflammation) was reinstated from the 15-day injured list. … OF Giancarlo Stanton is feeling “beat up” but he could be back in the lineup Tuesday. … RHP Michael King will need surgery to repair his fractured elbow. He could be ready for spring training if he doesn’t require Tommy John surgery, manager Aaron Boone said.
Yankees: LHP Jordan Montgomery (3-2, 3.24 ERA) will start the series opener Tuesday against the Mets and RHP Taijuan Walker (7-2, 2.55 ERA).
Orioles: RHP Austin Voth (1-1, 6.38 ERA) is starting Monday against the Rays and RHP Corey Kluber (6-5, 3.73 ERA)
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports