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Jun 1, 2024 9:31 am

Yankees’ Aaron Judge makes himself right at home vs. Giants

aaron judge san francisco

One of the National League’s top pitchers in recent years gets a rematch with one of the game’s hottest hitters when Logan Webb and the San Francisco Giants host Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees on Saturday night.

Judge made the most of his Oracle Park debut with two home runs in the series opener Friday, accounting for four runs in the Yankees’ 6-2 victory.

Judge and Webb dueled for the first time on Opening Day last season and each walked away with something to boast about.

Playing at home, Judge belted the second pitch he saw from Webb over the center-field fence to give the Yankees a lead they never relinquished in a 5-0 triumph.

Webb bounced back to strike out the slugger in their next two battles as part of a 12-strikeout day in six innings.

That’s better than Giants starter Jordan Hicks was able to do Friday. After singling in the first inning, Judge bombed home runs to left and center fields off the right-hander.

The explosion came after Judge admitted beforehand that he “definitely” considered signing with the Giants as a free agent after the 2022 season.

“When you’re a free agent, you’re looking at all the different options and seeing how it’s going to turn out,” said the native of Linden, about 100 miles northeast of San Francisco. “It would have been a great place to play.”

If Judge were anxious about his homecoming, he didn’t show it in his at-bats. He took Hicks to a fifth pitch before a first-inning single, then took advantage of 3-1 and 3-2 counts to find his home run pitches.

It was a fitting culmination to May. Entering the month hitting .207, he posted a .371 average, 14 homers and 27 RBIs during the month.

“When he’s hot, he’s tough to deal with,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said. “You throw good pitches, he fouls them off or he takes them and waits for one good pitch. When you throw him a pitch he can handle, that’s what he does with it.

“It’s tough to work around him, too. That’s a pretty good lineup, especially the top portion down to about six at least.”

Webb (4-4, 2.74 ERA) will be making just his second career start against the Yankees. He also allowed a home run to Gleyber Torres in last year’s defeat.

The 27-year-old right-hander has gone unbeaten in his past three starts, allowing just two earned runs in 19 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets.

The Yankees, meanwhile, are expected to promote right-hander Cody Poteet (1-0, 1.50) from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to fill the rotation spot left vacant when Clarke Schmidt had to go on the injured list after suffering a strained right lat last Sunday at San Diego.

Poteet won his only big-league start this season, April 13 at Cleveland in the second game of a doubleheader, allowing one run in six innings of the 8-2 victory. He’s gone 3-0 with a 4.05 ERA in seven Triple-A starts.

The 29-year-old San Diego native has never faced the Giants in his three-year, big-league career.

–Field Level Media

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