Aaron Judge Restates Case, Lifts New York Yankees Past Houston Astros Ahead of Arbitration Hearing

NEW YORK — Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees will hold a hearing Friday to determine the triple All-Star salary for the 2022 season.

Whatever is decided, the verdict has already been handed down in the Bronx: Judge will be worth every penny.

The steady, 6-foot-7 slugger lined a game-winning single on the eve of his arbitration showdown and completed a four-run ninth inning, including the tying three-run homer by Aaron Hicks off closer Ryan Pressly in the 7th – from the Yankees. 6 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Judge hit with two to Ryne Stanek and smoked a 3-0 splitter into the left corner to score Jose Trevino from second base. It was the Yankees’ ninth win in 70 games this season — the most since 1943 — and one that seemed highly unlikely as they went into the last inning with just two hits.

“There’s a sign on the way to the dugout that says ‘Do your job,'” Judge said. “That’s what I was trying to do in that situation.”

A job with an unknown salary, for now. The 30-year-old will have an unusual in-season arbitration hearing Friday — rulings are usually made off-season but were pushed past opening day this year due to the sport’s labor lockout.

The judge is demanding $21 million. New York has bid $17 million. The arbitrator will be tasked with choosing one salary or another – nothing in between.

The hearing comes after the parties failed to agree on a long-term contract ahead of the Judge’s opening day deadline this spring, meaning No. 99 could leave the Yankees to pursue a free-agent deal elsewhere after the season. to hunt.

When asked about Friday’s meeting, Judge smiled and said only, “We’ll talk after that.”

“We always hope for the best for our guys in arbitration and things like that,” Hicks said. “We want him here as a Yankee.”

New York clinched the opening game of a highly anticipated four-game streak between the American League’s top two teams, winning for the 19th time in 22 games to improve to 52-18 — the third-best start of 70 games in the majors since 1930 .

New York also extended its home winning streak to 15 games, the team’s longest since 1961.

The Yankees started right away with the Major League lead on Thursday with 20 comeback wins. No. 21 could surpass them all.

Giancarlo Stanton, who hit a three-run homer in the first inning, led off the ninth with a walk against Pressly, and Gleyber Torres pulled another in a long-delayed at bat because Torres caught something in his eye.

The switch-hitting Hicks then dug in from the left and crushed a no-doubter into right field, just the third hit for the Yankees all night and the first since Stanton’s homer.

Hicks’ third homer of the season infuriated the crowd of 44,071.

“This was a playoff atmosphere there,” Judge said.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa followed with an infield single, but was thrown out trying to steal second place — a close call that was confirmed via replay.

Trevino hit a lineup with a one-out single, prompting manager Dusty Baker to bring in Pressly (1-2), a two-time All-Star who came in with a 5.71 ERA in 18 appearances against the Yankees, including the ‘ post-season’.

Stanek walked DJ LeMahieu, then fell 3-0 behind Judge as fans serenaded the slugger with “MVP!” chants.

“I knew I would get the job done,” Judge said after his third walk-off hit of his career and second this season.

“That’s when this game is there at its best, moments like these. The crowd is on their feet, the game is on the line. It’s the moments in your backyard that you dream about.”

Miguel Castro (4-0) worked a hitless turn for the win.

Alex Bregman and Stanton of the Astros traded three-run home runs in the first inning, and Houston’s Yordan Alvarez cracked another three-run drive in the third against Yankees starter Jameson Taillon.

Astros-starter Framber Valdez balanced himself after a rocky first inning. Jose Altuve had three hits and rightfielder Kyle Tucker robbed a potential homer in the eighth for Houston, but the Astros fell to 43-26 on a rare night for the leading bullpen of the majors.

“Things started to unravel and we couldn’t turn it back,” Baker said.

Valdez struckout seven batters in six innings and gave up only three runs on two hits, both in the first inning. He looked ready to go deep into the game, until Anthony Rizzo pulled a 16-pitch walk in the sixth. Valdez was pulled after 101 pitches.

Héctor Neris threw a perfect seventh and Tucker helped Rafael Montero through the eighth by jumping the wall to catch what Rizzo thought was a surefire home run.

Taillon allowed a season-high six points and interrupted a great first half after years of being hampered by health issues. Houston had 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings against the righthander.

Alvarez, who homered twice against the Mets on Wednesday night, hit a low, 210 mph line drive in the third inning into the short right field porch of Yankee Stadium. Alvarez’s 22 home runs follow only Judge’s 27 for the Major League lead.

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