New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge becomes first player to 40 home runs

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge becomes first player to 40 home runs

NEW YORK — Judge Aaron became the first player in the majors with 40 homers this season with a two-run drive for the New York Yankees against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night.

The 6-foot-7 judge stole a home run from MJ Melendez to start the game, then tap a guess 449 foot circuit in the third inning for a 3-0 lead. It was his second homer in three at bats after hitting a game-ending drive in the ninth inning of a 1-0 win over Kansas City on Thursday night.

The four-time All-Star is on pace for 64 home runs in his final season under New York control. The club record is 61, set by Roger Maris in 1961. Judge, Maris and Babe Ruth in 1928 are the only Yankees with at least 40 home runs by the end of July, according to MLB.com.

Philadelphia Kyle Schwarber entered the night second in the majors with 32 homers. Judge hit a career-high 52 home runs while winning AL Rookie of the Year in 2017.

In the first inning Friday, the judge jumped up and reached the right field wall about 8 feet to deny Melendez, who put a charge in Gerrit Colethe fourth throw. The judge fell on the warning track after making the hold, and it took him a moment to raise his glove and confirm that he had made the hold. Yankee Stadium erupted when he did.

The leaping snag also extended the Royals’ goalless streak into a fourth game. They entered Friday with three straight shutouts and hadn’t scored since the eighth inning of a 7-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

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