SEATTLE (AP) — Anthony Volpe, Greg Allen and Isiah Kiner-Falefa took care of the heavy lifting early. Aaron Judge provided the final punch.
Judge homered for the third time in two games, Volpe and Allen also went deep and the New York Yankees stretched their winning streak to four with a 10-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
The Yankees moved a season-high 11 games over .500, and have posted 20 runs and 30 hits in the first two games of the series against one of the American League's top pitching staffs.
“Everybody’s chipping in right now and everybody’s passing the baton, and good things are happening when you’re not afraid to pass it to the next guy,” Kiner-Falefa said.
Judge hit a towering fly ball on the first pitch of the seventh inning from reliever Darren McCaughan that carried just enough to clear the fence in left-center field, even if it would not have been a homer at Yankee Stadium.
It was the 18th of the season for Judge, who hit a pair of homers in the series opener on Monday night.
While Judge hitting another homer will get the headlines, it was Volpe’s long ball that broke open the game. With two outs in the third inning, Seattle starter Logan Gilbert caught too much of the plate with a 1-2 slider and Volpe drove the pitch 413 feet for a three-run shot and a 6-0 lead. It was Volpe’s eighth homer of the season and snapped a 2-for-22 slide for the rookie.
“That was a big blow in the game and kind of let us really breathe a little bit there,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “That was a big swing, big at-bat. Obviously been grinding a little bit lately, so really good to see him get that swing off.”
Allen, filling in for injured center fielder Harrison Bader, hit his first of the season leading off the fourth inning. Kiner-Falefa also had a key two-run single in the first inning as the Yankees took advantage of an error to give starter Nestor Cortes a 3-0 advantage before he took the mound.
Kiner-Falefa had another two-run single in the ninth and had his sixth career four-hit game. After losing the shortstop job to Volpe during spring training and starting slowly as a backup outfielder and infielder, Kiner-Falefa is 14 for his last 34 at-bats. New York has scored at least 10 runs in three straight games for the first time since Sept. 15-17, 2020.
“It's been a while, a couple of years, but I'm feeling good, getting good pitches to hit right now and I just feel like I'm hitting the ball hard,” Kiner-Falefa said.
Cortes (5-2) mostly cruised through five innings, allowing two runs and five hits with six strikeouts. Ty France and Teoscar Hernández had RBI doubles in the fifth inning. Judge nearly stole another hit from Hernández after robbing him of a homer on Monday, but his diving attempt at Hernández's liner fell for a double.
Gilbert (3-3) lasted just four innings for the second time this season. The five earned runs allowed were a season-high and the four strikeouts matched a season-low.
“Our starting pitching has been so solid all year long, allows us to be competitive every night and the last couple nights it’s gotten away from us,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
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Seattle catcher Tom Murphy and Servais were both ejected by plate umpire Brian Walsh in the sixth inning. Murphy was ejected after yelling toward first base umpire C.B. Bucknor following a check-swing that was called a strike. Servais argued the decision to eject Murphy and was quickly tossed by Walsh. It was the second ejection this season for Servais.
“I'm still in complete shock over something like this happened,” Murphy said afterward.
Yankees: Bader (hamstring) was placed on the 10-day IL after leaving Monday’s game in the third inning injuring his right hamstring running out an infield single. OF Franchy Cordero was recalled.
Mariners: McCaughan was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to add a long reliever to the bullpen. RHP Juan Then was optioned to Tacoma. It was Seattle’s first roster move in 24 days.
Yankees: RHP Clarke Schmidt (2-5, 5.58) took the loss despite allowing only one earned run over five innings in his last start against Baltimore. Schmidt has gone at least five inning in five of his last seven starts.
Mariners: RHP George Kirby (5-4, 3.43) was knocked around for seven earned runs and four home runs allowed in his last start against Pittsburgh. Both matched career highs.