Aaron Judge broke Mark McGwire’s major league record for home runs by a rookie, hitting a pair for the second straight day to raise his total to 50 and lead the New York Yankees over the Kansas City Royals 11-3 Monday.
The 6-foot-7, 25-year-old slugger tied the mark with a two-run drive to right-center off Jakob Junis (8-3) in the third inning that put New York ahead 3-0.
His solo shot over the visitors’ bullpen in left against Trevor Cahill in the seventh made it 7-3 and earned him a rare curtain call.
Judge has 13 home runs in September and six in five games, and he is second in the majors behind Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton, who has 57. Judge has four multihomer games this month and seven this season.
Judge was hitting .329 with 30 homers and 66 RBIs when he won the All-Star Home Run Derby, then slumped to a .179 average with seven homers and 16 RBIs from the start of the second half through Aug. 31, striking out 67 times in 44 games. His September rebound boosted his average to .283 with 108 RBIs and an AL-leading 120 walks and a big league-high 203 strikeouts, putting himself back into MVP consideration.
McGwire hit 49 homers for Oakland in 1987, breaking the previous mark of 38 set by the Boston Braves’ Wally Berger in 1930 and matched by Cincinnati’s Frank Robinson in 1956.
AP | Ronald Blum