NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge managed his own workload Friday night.
Judge hit a grand slam for one of two homers to earn an early exit, Gerrit Cole struck out 12 and the New York Yankees routed the Detroit Tigers 10-0.
The frequently injured Judge was held out of New York’s starting lineup in its previous two games with what the Yankees described as lower body soreness. Manager Aaron Boone has declined to elaborate, although he’s said repeatedly he’s eager to get Judge off his feet when he can — akin to the load management practice that’s become common in the NBA.
Whatever his ailment, Judge found his footing against the last-place Tigers with a leadoff homer in the third and a slam to the second deck in right field in the fourth. He was replaced on defense with New York up 10-0 in the sixth.
Clint Frazier, Aaron Hicks and Rougned Odor also homered on a cool and windy night, and Giancarlo Stanton had rips of 115 mph and 114 mph among his three hits in a breakout slugfest for the slow-starting Yankees. The Yankees set highs for runs, hits (15) and homers (five), opening a season-high nine-game homestand with their third win in four games and improving to 12-14.
Cole (4-1) allowed four hits and no walks during six overpowering innings, throwing only 87 pitches.
New York pitchers had 18 strikeouts to tie a franchise record for a nine-inning game, last achieved against Toronto on Sept. 29, 2017.
Tarik Skubal (0-4) allowed four runs in three innings for the Tigers before the bullpen surrendered five runs in the fourth.
Detroit didn’t arrive at its New York hotel until around 4:15 a.m. after being swept in a doubleheader Thursday by the Chicago White Sox. With the majors’ lowest team batting average (now .199) and highest strikeout rate, the Tigers never had a chance…