Yankees top rival Red Sox with Judge's birthday heroics
Aaron Judge celebrated his 25th birthday with a home run and a great defensive play in the New York Yankees' 3-1 win over MLB rivals the Boston Red Sox.
The slugger put the Yankees on top in the second inning, blasting his team-leading seventh home run off Rick Porcello to the opposite field to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead at Fenway Park on Wednesday.
Judge is the first Yankee to homer on his birthday at Fenway since Roger Maris in 1966.
An inning later, Judge made a great effort on a ball hit my Xander Bogaerts in foul territory, tumbling over an outfield wall and into the stands after a running catch.
Judge then scored on a Greg Bird single in the sixth to give the Yankees a 3-0 lead, a score which would hold until the bottom of the ninth when Boston added one run off Aroldis Chapman.
Luis Severino picked up the win for the Yankees after firing seven scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out six.
The Washington Nationals defeated the Colorado Rockies 11-4, the Texas Rangers eased past the Minnesota Twins 14-3, the Seattle Mariners blanked the Detroit Tigers 8-0, the Atlanta Braves were too good for the New York Mets 8-2, the Chicago Cubs lost 6-5 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, the San Diego Padres topped the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 and the Chicago White Sox were 5-2 winners against the Kansas City Royals.
Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Cincinnati Reds 9-4, the Cleveland Indians edged the Houston Astros 7-6, the Baltimore Orioles trumped the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4, the Philadelphia Phillies recorded a 7-4 victory over the Miami Marlins, the Los Angeles Dodgers went down 4-3 to the San Francisco Giants, the Los Angeles Angels saw off the Oakland Athletics 8-5, while the game between the St Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays was postponed.
PAXTON LEADS MARINERS
Coming off his lone poor start of the season, Mariners southpaw James Paxton returned to his dominant ways in a win over the Tigers. Paxton hurled seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and one walk while striking out nine in his third win of the season. Paxton allowed five runs to the A's on April 20 but has shutout the other four teams he has faced.
GSELLMAN GIFTS BRAVES
Making a start in place of Noah Syndergaard, Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman allowed all nine Braves hitters to come to the plate in the first inning, allowing five runs. The right-hander was only able to finish four innings after allowing 10 hits and three walks in the loss. The Mets have now lost nine of their last 10 games for the first time since September 2012.
HISTORIC AFRICAN NGOEPE NOTCHES HIT
Africa's first-ever MLB player, Gift Ngoepe, picked up his first major league hit in his first at-bat with the Pirates.
NATIONALS AT ROCKIES
A pair of pitchers off to hot starts to the season square off at hitter-friendly Coors Field on Thursday. Nationals southpaw Gio Gonzalez (2-0, 1.35 ERA) looks to build on a no-hitter he carried into the sixth inning in his last start, while Antonio Senzatela (3-0, 2.08 ERA) hopes to continue his scoreless inning streak (12).