Yankees split doubleheader with Rangers
Arlington, Texas — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge led off the nightcap with his American League-record 62nd home run and Gerrit Cole set the franchise single-season strikeouts record even as New York lost 3-2 to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night for a doubleheader split.
Leody Taveras hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning of the second game to put the Rangers ahead to stay, after their 5-4 loss in the opener had extended their losing streak to seven games. The AL East champion Yankees have won 99 games, the Rangers 67.
Judge drove the third pitch of second game, a 1-1 slider from Rangers opener Jesus Tinoco, into the first row of seats in left field to end his long, tiring chase to break Roger Maris' AL mark that had stood since 1961.
"It's part of the game. I challenged him and he just hit the home run," Tinoco said through a translator.
"Obviously it's against us, so we're not ecstatic about it," Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said. "But when you have time to look back, it's a huge moment in baseball and what he's accomplished this year is something amazing. You have to respect that."
It was the 55th game in a row Judge had played since Aug. 5, and the only homer he had hit in the previous 13 games was No. 61 last Wednesday in Toronto. He went 1 for 5 with a single and scored the decisive run in the opener Tuesday.
Manager Aaron Boone indicated that Judge earned a day off in the regular-season finale Wednesday, but Judge said he hoped to play.
After Judge batted again in the second inning following his record homer, and struck swinging against Kolby Allard, Boone removed him from the nightcap after he had already gone to right field in the bottom of the frame.
Cole (13-8) struck out nine, raising his major league-best total to 257. The right-hander had entered the game tied with the 248 strikeouts Ron Guidry had in 1978, when he was the AL Cy Young Award winner after going 25-3 with a 1.74 ERA. Cole passed Guidry when he struck out Rangers No. 2 batter Nathaniel Lowe in the first inning.
"Even just to tie the record, and let alone break it, it's a bit surreal," Cole said. "And obviously on a night like tonight, it's just kind of like, whoa, I mean, what a lot of history going on. Just a wonderful experience to share it with my teammates."
Allard (1-2) struck out six and walked one over four innings, the only run he allowed being on Giancarlo Stanton's 31st homer in the fifth inning.
Taveras, whose baserunning mistake ended Game 1, put Texas up 3-2 with his fifth homer. It came after Sam Huff reached on third baseman Josh Donaldson's fielding error.
Kyle Higashioka, Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza all hit solo homers for New York in the opener.
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.
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 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 .202 whose one-out single in the eighth inning Monday night broke up New York's no-hit bid, had a two-run single in the first.
Yankees: 2B Gleyber Torres was still not feeling well after being a late scratch Monday because of flu-like symptoms, and didn't play in either game. ... 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. ... RHP Albert Abreu was reinstated from the injured list after he had been out since Aug. 20 with right elbow inflammation.
The regular-season finale Wednesday, when Domingo German (2-4, 3.31 ERA) pitches for the Yankees against Texas rookie right-hander Glenn Otto (6-10, 4.72).