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Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Aaron Judge punctures the moon

The Yankees offense came to play tonight, backing up a strong start from Tanaka, and taking their third straight series.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at New York Yankees Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another monster shot for the honorable Aaron Judge.

It was a chilly night in the Bronx, but the Yankees came out hot, scoring four in the first two innings. Brett Gardner started things off early with a leadoff gapper for a double-turned-triple when Leury Garcia misplayed the ball, allowed Gardy to reach 3rd. Chase Headley then put the Yanks on the board with a two-run bullpen shot for his 3rd home run of the year. Just to reiterate: Chase Headley. 3rd home run of the year. April 19th. What’s gotten into Headley? We may never know. Maybe he stumbled into the White Sox dugout and found a couple of the Toon Squad’s extra bottles of “Michael’s Secret Stuff,” but I, for one, am not questioning his newfound offensive mastery.

The bats were still swinging in the second, when Aaron Judge continued to stay hot with a beautiful piece of hitting, lining a rope single to right. Greg Bird then connected for a deep warning track shot over Melky Cabrera’s head to put runners on second and third. Austin Romine blooped one into center to score Judge and move Bird to third with nobody out. Ronald Torreyes knocked in Bird to make it 4-0 Yankees. Jose Abreu made a nice diving grab to double-up Toe at first and end the inning.

The 5th, however, is when things really started to heat up. Starlin Castro launched a 3-0 pitch into the visitor bullpen for a three-run shot, but was quickly overshadowed by Judge hitting the largest home run of all time to make it 8-1 good guys.

Judge’s 448-foot bomb, the longest of his career, actually stunned the crowd and silenced Michael Kay and the boys in the booth. It also gave us another amazing #JudgeAndToe (I prefer #RonAndBig) dugout moment. Toe has now moved on from running starts to incorporating props into his high-fives with Judge. This pleases the court.

The Yankees offense was the story of the night, but Masahiro Tanaka had a very solid outing, showing command over his pitches, forcing a lot of ground balls, and striking out six through seven innings of one-run baseball. This was a promising night for Tanaka and the kind of performance he needed to gain some confidence and shake off those early season cobwebs.

A pinch-hit Aaron Hicks solo laser to right added a little more padding and birthday boy Bryan Mitchell combined with Tommy Lane to carry the last two innings to close things out. After a frustrating loss last night, the Yankees bounced back with a 9-1 win to take their third straight series, end their homestand at a lovely 8-1, and get started on their way to another eight-game winning streak.

Yanks have an off day tomorrow before heading to Pittsburgh Friday, where CC Sabathia will face Starling Marte David Freese and the last place Pirates. The game is set for Friday at 7:05pm EST.