Friday night, the Yankees had to work extra hard just to squeak one out, but Saturday night in the Bronx the Bombers left no doubts. They hit the Cubs early and often, hammering a season-high six home runs, including two from MLB-leading slugger Aaron Judge, and Jordan Montgomery threw seven scoreless innings as they beat the Cubs 8-0 at the Stadium.
The Yankees (43-16) have won three straight and clinched their 15th series win and their fourth straight. They are 10-1 in their last 11 games and continue to have the best record in baseball.
The six homers were a season high for the Yankees, who lead the majors with 94 this season. It was the Yankees’ sixth shutout of the season
Judge had his 21st career multi-home run game, his fifth of the season. The Yankees slugger now has 24 home runs on the season (no one else has broken the 18-homer mark), which puts him on pace to hit a franchise 66 home runs this season.
It was the 11th straight start this season that Montgomery has allowed three earned runs or fewer and the 10th time he’s allowed two or fewer. It was his second shutout start of the season, though on April 15 in Baltimore he only went five innings. It was his sixth start without issuing a walk.
Montgomery scattered five hits and stuck out five. Most importantly for the Yankees, whose bullpen has been taxed by early exits from Nestor Cortes and Gerrit Cole this week and a 13-inning game Friday, Montgomery went deep into the game.
The Yankees’ lefty had all his pitches working Saturday. He got 17 swing-and-misses Saturday night, including five on his curveball.
His counterpart, Matt Swarmer didn’t have as long of a night and it started out with a bang.
Swarmer started Judge off with a 90 mph fastball outside. He tried to put the exact same pitch by the Yankees slugger and watched it sail past him at 107 mph off the bat and land in the left field seats.
The Yankees’ bats were just getting warming up.
In his second at-bat of the night, in the fourth inning, Giancarlo Stanton absolutely obliterated a Swarmer slider. It was 119 mph off the bat that only stopped sailing because it slammed into the Poland Spring sign on the front of the second deck. That sent the ball ricocheting toward the visitors’ bullpen. Watching from the on-deck circle, Gleyber Torrers hurried in the box to get his turn. He turned on a 91 mph fastball and drove it into the Yankees’ center-field bullpen.
It wasn’t over.
Jose Trevino, who hit the pinch-hit “walk-off” single that ended Friday night’s game, hit his fifth homer of the season to lead off the fifth inning. That came in his 95th at-bat of the season and matches the catcher’s total for all of last season, which took him 285 at-bats.
Judge followed with his second of the night, his major-league-leading 24th of the season after Joey Gallo struck out. And then Anthony Rizzo, playing against his former team for the first time since they traded him to the Yankees last July, hit his 15th of the season, before Swarmer and the Cubs could get out of the inning.
The Yankees scored their first six runs on homers.
Swarmer went five innings and six of the seven hits he allowed were homers. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Michael Rucker came in for the Cubs in the sixth and gave up a lead-off single to Torres and walked Aaron Hicks. Torres scored on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s single. Hicks scored on Judge’s sacrifice fly to right field.
Ron Marinaccio, who earned his first win in Friday night’s 13th inning, made his first back-to-back appearance in the big league. The right-hander from Toms River, N.J., pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Lucas Luetge, who saved the Yankees in Thursday’s come-from-behind win in Minneapolis Thursday after Gerrit Cole imploded, came in to finish the Cubs off.