ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Judge slammed his helmet in a rare show of frustration. The New York Yankees slugger is running out of time to hit his 62nd homer.
Judge’s homerless streak extended to five games since matching Roger Maris’ 61 for the American League record, with No. 99 not coming close to clearing the wall in the Yankees’ 99th win of the season.
“I’m sure he wants to hit it,” manager Aaron Boone said of Judge’s outburst in the dugout during a 5-4 win over Texas on Tuesday. “It hasn’t been much different than what I hear or see out of him frankly throughout the year. He lets out a little bit down there. Not much typically, but no, I really think he’s fine.”
Judge was 1 for 5 with a single, and scored the decisive run in the win over the Rangers in the first game of a day-night doubleheader Tuesday.
Judge was smiling while chatting with a small group of people in the tunnel between games, though he didn’t talk to reporters before going back into the clubhouse.
A crowd of 30,553 filled with fans hoping to see history was on its feet when Judge grounded out on the first pitch of the game, and again when he lofted a routine flyout to right in the third.
In the fifth, he had an infield popup and TV cameras caught him slamming his helmet against a rack in the dugout. Judge singled in the eighth and got another at-bat in the ninth, after No. 9 batter Kyle Higashioka drew a two-out walk.
“That might have been the best ovation I’ve ever gotten,” Higashioka said of the crowd’s reaction while he got the walk. “It just shows how special Judge’s season has been and just how much the fans want it for him. They’re just so excited for him to get one extra chance. So I’m just glad to get him up to the plate.”
Judge then grounded out on the first pitch. He saw 12 pitches overall and swung at eight of them. That was the third at-bat he swung at the first pitch.
“I want him to get his opportunities, so I didn’t want to pitch around him,” said Rangers starter Jon Gray, who faced Judge three times. “I wanted to go after him, give him some good pitches to hit, but at the same time compete.”
The only homer for Judge the past 13 games was No. 61 last Wednesday in Toronto. He is 3 for 17 with five walks and a hit by pitch since, dropping his batting average to .310.
He trails AL leader Luis Arraez, who began the day at .315, in his bid to win the Triple Crown. Judge has 130 RBIs.
It was Judge’s 156th game overall, and the 54th in a row he has played for the Yankees since Aug. 5. Judge was also in the starting lineup for the second game, leading off and in right field after being the designated hitter in the opener. The four-game series wraps up Wednesday.
Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza and Kyle Higashioka hit solo homers for the AL East champion Yankees.
Higashioka’s homer to straightaway center off reliever Brock Burke (7-5) tin the eighth tied it at 4. Higashioka tied his career high of 10 homers, all from June 12 on.
Judge followed with a line-drive single and eventually scored on Harrison Bader’s single.
Adolis García hit his 27th homer, a two-run shot in the fifth that gave him 100 RBIs for the Rangers, who lost their seventh consecutive game.
Aroldis Chapman (4-4) worked a perfect seventh for the victory. Jonathan Loaisiga worked the ninth for his second save, allowing a single before a game-ending double play when Leody Taveras mistakenly ran from second base on Marcus Semien’s liner to right.
Cabrera went deep for the sixth time in the first inning, and Peraza’s first big league homer tied the game at 2 in the second.
Peraza’s ball went into the packed left-field seats, where fans were crowded hoping for a ball from Judge. The mother and son who got Peraza’s ball were at the game after their house in Fort Myers, Florida, was damaged by flooding last week during Hurricane Ian. They gave the ball to the Yankees and met Peraza between games.
Josh Jung, the rookie third baseman hitting .198 whose one-out single in the eighth inning Monday night broke up New York’s no-hit bid, was credited with two RBIs on his single to right in the first.
Nathaniel Lowe had a two-out single before García was hit by a pitch. García slowed near third base on Jung’s hit, but took off home when right fielder Marwin Gonzalez initially hesitated before throwing the ball back toward the infield.
Gonzalez had an RBI single that put the Yankees up 3-2 in the fifth after Peraza had a leadoff single and stole second base.
Yankees right-hander Jameson Taillon struck out five while allowing four runs and seven hits over six innings. Texas right-hander Jon Gray allowed three runs on four hits over six innings. He struck out three without a walk.
Yankees: 2B Gleyber Torres was still not feeling well after being a late scratch Monday because of flu-like symptoms. … Reliever Ron Marinaccio was put on the 15-day injured list with a stress reaction in his right shin and will miss the AL Division Series. … Right-handed reliever Albert Abreu was reinstated from the injured list after he had been out since Aug. 20 with right elbow inflammation.
RHP Gerrit Cole (13-7, 3.51) went into the nightcap with 248 strikeouts, matched with Ron Guidry for the Yankees single-season record. The Rangers were going with a bullpen game in the nightcap.
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