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Apr 25, 2024 8:17 am

Yankees ‘warm and fuzzy’ heading into finale vs. A’s

Aaron Judge

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone quipped about experiencing a “warm and fuzzy” feeling after seeing Aaron Judge and Juan Soto each hit a home run in the same game for the first time in pinstripes.

After the duo went deep Wednesday, the Yankees can clinch another series win Thursday night when they host the Oakland Athletics.

The Yankees, who are 5-2 in their past seven games, produced one of their better showings at the plate lately by totaling 11 hits in a 7-3 victory Wednesday. Judge homered after Oakland starting pitcher Joe Boyle was charged with a balk.

“Warm and fuzzy inside,” Boone said with a smile of Judge and Soto going deep. “On a cool night when the wind’s blowing and I’m cold out there, a little warm and fuzzy. Kind of like some hot chocolate on a cold day. It was great. I don’t think it’s going to be the last time those two homer together.”

Judge also had two hits for his fourth multi-hit game, boosting his batting average to .191. His average was .174 on Monday before he went 1-for-3 in Tuesday’s 4-3 win and added his fourth homer of the season Wednesday.

“It’s not back yet,” Judge said of his swing. “Always a work in progress. But I’m just happy to add two there in the first, and then the boys took care of the rest. Great swings from everybody all night.”

Judge’s hits occurred before Anthony Rizzo went deep for the second straight game and Soto hit his sixth homer of the season.

Oakland is 1-5 in the first six games of a 10-game trip and 2-7 in its past nine after a 6-2 stretch.

On Wednesday, Oakland trailed 5-0 before Brent Rooker hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning. The A’s also committed two errors, raising their total to 20 in 25 games.

“It’s a little bit sloppy tonight, and we’ll move forward,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said.

The A’s played without Zack Gelof due to a strained left oblique, and the second baseman likely will be placed on the injured list.

Nestor Cortes (1-1, 3.41 ERA), who is coming off one his best outings of the season, will conclude the series for the Yankees. After allowing four runs in four innings in a no-decision at Cleveland on April 14, he yielded six hits in seven scoreless innings during a no-decision in Saturday’s 2-0 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Cortes fanned nine batters Saturday and has 21 of his 28 strikeouts this season over his past three outings.

The left-hander is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in five career appearances (two starts) against Oakland.

Oakland left-hander Alex Wood (0-2, 7.89 ERA) will start on Thursday. He is seeking his first win since July 26, ironically against the Athletics. In five starts for Oakland this season, Wood has been tagged for 19 runs on 33 hits in 21 2/3 innings, and opposing hitters are batting .359 against him.

Wood most recently pitched Saturday, allowing four runs on eight hits in five innings of a 6-3 setback to the Cleveland Guardians.

The left-hander has never faced the Yankees, who are the only team he has yet to face in a career that started in 2013 with the Atlanta Braves.

–Field Level Media

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