NEW YORK (AP) — Yankees star Aaron Judge became the second-fastest player in major league history to reach 200 career home runs with a two-run drive in the second inning for New York against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
The 6-foot-7 slugger, who became the first player in the majors this season to reach 40 homers Friday, fouled off two breaking balls from starter Jonathan Heasley before sending a 2-2 fastball into the right-center field seats.
Judge’s 200th homer came in his 671st career game, behind just Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard, who achieved the feat in 2009 in 658 games.
Judge has 42 homers this season and is on pace for 67. He is tied with Sammy Sosa and two behind Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire for the most before Aug. 1 in MLB history. Bonds holds the season record with 73 homers in 2001.
A free agent at the end of the season, Judge has nine homers and 21 RBIs with a .447 batting average in 10 games since the All-Star break. After hitting just one homer in his first 13 games, Judge has connected for 36 over his last 79 games and remains on pace to surpass Roger Maris’ club record of 61, set in 1961. He is the 18th Yankee to reach the career milestone.
Judge hit a career-high 52 homers while winning AL Rookie of the Year in 2017.
Philadelphia’s Kyle Schwarber is second in the majors with 32. Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez is the only player this season to reach 30 this season.