BALTIMORE — Roll back the walls, build them higher. Aaron Judge doesn’t care. The Yankees slugger hit his longest home run of the season over the left field wall at Camden Yards on Friday night. The Yankees needed every inch of their 901 combined hit homers to hold off the Orioles 7-6.
The Yankees (65-30) snapped a two-game losing streak and won their first game since the All-Star break. The Bombers improved to 31-15 in the American League East, where they hold a double-digit lead. The Orioles (46-47) were playing their first game since the break.
Judge, who took the long view after the Yankees dropped both games of a doubleheader against the Astros in Houston on Thursday, had his 8th multi-HR game of the season. It is tied with Gleyber Torres (2019), Alex Rodriguez (2007), Mickey Mantle (1961) and Babe Ruth (1927) for the most multi-HR games in a season in Yankees history.
Judge’s second shot went 465 feet, the longest of the season. His first went just 436 feet. The Orioles’ new left-field wall, which was moved 26.5 feet further back from home plate and extended this winter by 7 feet, 4 inches to 13 feet, was no contest for Judge. It was his 24th career multi-home run game, his eighth against the Orioles and his fourth at Camden Yards.
Joey Gallo hit his 12th homer of the season, a solo shot in the sixth that gave him his 24th RBI. Jose Trevino doubled in one run and Isaiah Conner-Felfa singled in the other.
Clay Holmes came on for an emergency four-out save after Michael King left the bat with an apparent injury in the eighth. Holmes picked up his 17th save of the season.
After allowing seven runs in 18 innings in two games Thursday in Houston, the offense was a welcome sight. It was needed, too, as Jameson Talon put the Bombers in a hole early on.
“I felt like for this month where it wasn’t as dynamic as the first two months of the season, it was just mistakes that were getting to him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I still think a lot of those outings were mostly good. He was missing some spots where people were hitting the ball out of the ballpark. It really cost him. Obviously, he was going to hit the ball out of the ballpark. And was able to limit his last start, and I thought he threw the ball really well and hopefully he can pick up from this last one.
The right-hander was chased after just 2.2 innings for his shortest start of the season. After walking 12 batters in his first 18 starts of the season, and as many as two in a game, Talon walked the first two batters he faced Friday night. He finished with a season-high three walks. Talon allowed two earned runs on four hits. He hit two.
After a solid start to end the first half — six 1-run, 2-hit innings against the Red Sox — the Yankees were hopeful that they had snapped their slump.
Friday night, however, was evidence that he’s still searching for fastball command. He threw 67 pitches, 38 for strikes, getting just eight swings and misses, including four on his slider.
Over his last six starts, Talon has struck out 23 in 29.2 innings. He scored six runs and scored 24 runs.
This is another red flag raised on the Yankees’ pitching.
With Luis Severino out with a strained lat muscle, the Yankees tried Domingo German in his place on Thursday to give Talon an extra day of rest. Both turned out to be bad ideas. The German was hit hard and Talon was clearly not fast.
It’s an issue the Yankees can still address before the trade deadline in 12 days. Another might be what to do with their bullpen. After a clean inning in Houston on Thursday, former closer Aroldis Chapman was hammered again. Chapman gave up a leadoff single to Cedric Mullins, issued a one-out walk to Trey Mancini and Anthony Santander crushed a three-run homer to left into the second deck in left field.
Also the way King rushed the field in the eighth. The right-hander looked hurt as he walked off the bat in the middle of the mound after throwing a pitch to Ramon Urias.