NEW YORK - Aaron Judge and his teammates were joking about which one of them would hit the home run that gave the New York Yankees a major league-record 28 straight games with a long ball.
The 6-foot-7 (200-cm) slugger, batting second in the lineup, predicted the mark might fall in the first inning.
Judge was right, even though he never had a crack at it. The first chance went to leadoff man DJ LeMahieu — and nobody else got one.
LeMahieu and Judge hit back-to-back homers to begin the bottom of the first inning, and New York held on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 Tuesday night.
“I was just trying to do what he did. He’s been our MVP,” Judge said. “DJ stole the show. We’re happy for him. No better person I want breaking that record.”
Gleyber Torres and Edwin Encarnacion each poked a solo shot over the short right field porch for the Yankees, who shook off another injury to Giancarlo Stanton and won for the 10th time in 11 games. The AL East leaders are 8-1 on a 10-game homestand that wraps up Wednesday.
Aroldis Chapman allowed a run in the ninth before retiring Freddy Galvis on an easy grounder with two aboard for his 23rd save in 25 tries.
“It certainly wasn’t perfect tonight, but the long ball obviously played a huge role,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Stanton exited in the fourth with a bruised right knee and was scheduled for an MRI. He got tangled up with Toronto pitcher Clayton Richard (0-4) in the first while getting thrown out on a headfirst slide into third base.
The 2017 NL MVP just returned last Tuesday from injuries to his biceps, shoulder and calf that had sidelined him since March 31.
Nonetheless, the Yankees wasted no time rewriting the record book on this night.
LeMahieu hit his fourth career leadoff shot into the second deck down the left field line, breaking a mark New York shared for one day with the 2002 Texas Rangers, who homered in 27 consecutive games.
“We’ve got something special,” Judge said.
The Yankees quickly added another one, too, when Judge followed with an opposite-field drive into the right field stands. It was the first home run since April 20 for Judge, who returned Friday from an oblique injury that sidelined him for two months.
It was the second time this season and 11th in franchise history the Yankees started a game with consecutive home runs.
Bronx Bombers, indeed.
Rookie left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr. (3-0) struck out five over 4⅓ solid innings in relief of opener Chad Green. They combined to retire the first 12 Blue Jays batters before Cavan Biggio doubled leading off the fifth.
Danny Jansen’s double in the sixth set up Eric Sogard’s sacrifice fly and an RBI single by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. that chased Cortes and cut it to 3-2. Tommy Kahnle escaped trouble with two strikeouts and Stephen Tarpley, recalled from Triple-A earlier in the day, tossed a perfect seventh.
Zack Britton worked a 1-2-3 eighth and Chapman got three outs. Randal Grichuk’s run-scoring single with two down trimmed it to 4-3 for the young Blue Jays.
“A lot of progress. We’re playing good baseball,” rookie manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Torres went deep in the second and Encarnacion hit his AL-high 24th homer — third with the Yankees — off reliever Tim Mayza in the eighth.
Tagged right off the bat, Richard settled down and lasted six innings. The former backup quarterback at Michigan, pitching on a night when his alma mater was playing for the NCAA baseball championship in the College World Series, allowed three runs and eight hits.
The Wolverines lost 4-1 to Vanderbilt, setting up a winner-take-all Game 3 on Wednesday night.
“I follow from afar. It’s definitely cool to see,” Richard said.
Angels 5, Reds 1
In Anaheim, Tommy La Stella hit a leadoff inside-the-park homer and Luis Rengifo added a three-run shot for Los Angeles.
Pinch-runner Wilfredo Tovar tagged up and scored from second on Shohei Ohtani’s long fly to left in the seventh inning for the Angels (40-40), who opened their homestand by getting back to .500 with their fifth win in eight games.
Joey Votto homered for the Reds, who have lost three straight for only the second time since mid-April. Yasiel Puig and manager David Bell were ejected for arguing in the sixth.
Andrew Heaney (1-1) pitched five-hit ball into the sixth inning for his first win since September, overcoming four walks.
Tyler Mahle (2-8) yielded six hits and four runs over five innings in the Orange County native’s first career start at Angel Stadium.
Ohtani was 1-for-3 in his first start in five games.
Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2
In Phoenix, Enrique Hernandez hit his sixth career leadoff home run and Justin Turner added a solo shot to power Los Angeles.
Hernandez hit a 0-2 pitch out to left off Robbie Ray (5-5) to open the game and Turner hit his off the left-hander in the sixth inning. Chris Taylor drove in the go-ahead run on a double two batters later.
Julio Urias (4-2) allowed a hit in three innings in relief of Ross Stripling, who was on a limited pitch count in his return to the rotation. Kenley Jansen worked around Nick Ahmed’s two-out single and stolen base in the ninth for his 23rd save.
The NL West-leading Dodgers have won seven of eight.
David Peralta had run-scoring hits in the first and third innings for the Diamondbacks, who have lost seven of nine.
Kenta Maeda entered the game as pinch-hitter in the fifth, but struck out.
Red Sox 6, White Sox 3
In Boston, Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run homer and David Price struck out nine, leading the Red Sox to the victory.
The start of the game was delayed 24 minutes because of rain, which continued to fall — heavily at times — through the first five innings. The slick conditions may have contributed to a frightening moment in the fifth inning when Chicago shortstop Tim Anderson sprained his right ankle on a fielding play. Anderson was carried off the field on the shoulders of manager Rick Renteria and a trainer.
Price (5-2) worked through the conditions for six innings, permitting three runs and eight hits. Brandon Workman pitched the ninth for his third save.
Jose Ruiz (0-1) took the loss after allowing Bogaerts’ two-run shot in the fifth, breaking a 3-all tie.
Phillies 7, Mets 5
In Philadelphia, Maikel Franco hit a go-ahead two-run homer for the second straight game, powering the Phillies to the victory.
Brad Miller, Scott Kingery and Rhys Hoskins also connected as Philadelphia earned its second straight win since losing seven in a row.
Franco hit a shot to right off Wilmer Font (1-2) for his 18th homer, lifting the Phillies to a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning. Miller made it back-to-back shots when he went deep for a pinch-hit homer.
Philadelphia right-hander Jake Arrieta (7-6) permitted five runs and nine hits in six innings. Hector Neris got four outs for his 16th save.
Jeff McNeil had four hits for New York. Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith homered.
Nationals 6, Marlins 1
In Miami, Max Scherzer struck out 10 in eight innings and won his fifth straight start to lead Washington.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner also had two hits and scored twice.
Scherzer (7-5) is 5-0 with a 0.92 ERA over his last seven starts and has fanned exactly 10 in three straight games. He allowed five hits and one run while throwing 71 of 94 pitches for strikes.
Trea Turner hit a three-run homer and Juan Soto knocked in two runs for the Nationals, who have won six of eight.
Miami had its four-game winning streak end, and manager Don Mattingly and shortstop Miguel Rojas were ejected in the eighth by plate umpire Mike Estabrook for arguing. Rojas struck out earlier in the inning.
Trevor Richards (3-8) allowed a season-high six runs in five innings.
Padres 8, Orioles 3
In Baltimore, Manny Machado marked his return to Camden Yards with a performance reminiscent of his time with the Orioles, hitting a long homer and driving in two runs to lead San Diego.
Machado played seven years with the Orioles before being traded last July, months before becoming a free agent. The third baseman signed a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres in February.
Machado received a standing ovation from many in the crowd of 21,644 before striking out in the first inning. In the third, however, he hit a shot off Jimmy Yacabonis (1-2) that traveled an estimated 455 feet and added a run-scoring single in the fourth.
Manuel Margot homered and drove in three runs, and Fernando Tatis Jr. and Francisco Mejia also went deep for the Padres.
Rookie Logan Allen (2-0) allowed two runs and eight hits over six innings.
Richie Martin homered and Hanser Alberto matched his career high with four hits for the Orioles, who lost for the 12th time in 13 games.
Braves 3, Cubs 2
In Chicago, Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. homered, Max Fried pitched six innings of two-hit ball and Atlanta beat Chicago.
Acuna crushed the first pitch of the game from Cubs rookie Adbert Alzolay into the left-field bleachers for his 19th homer of the season. Albies hit a towering two-run shot to right center off Mike Montgomery (1-2) in the seventh that gave Atlanta the lead.
Fried (9-3) struck out eight, walked a season-high five and allowed two runs in winning his second straight start.
Relievers Sean Newcomb, Anthony Swarzak and Luke Jackson, who threw a perfect ninth for his 12th save, combined to complete the four-hitter.
Willson Contreras had two RBIs and fellow Venezuelan Alzolay tossed one-hit, one-run ball through 4⅔ innings in his first major league start.
Royals 8, Indians 6
In Cleveland, Hunter Dozier’s grand slam capped Kansas City’s stunning five-run rally in the ninth inning off Cleveland closer Brad Hand.
Hand (4-3) was a perfect 22 for 22 in save chances. But the left-hander did not record an out against the Royals, who entered the ninth down 6-3 before storming back.
Nicky Lopez had an RBI infield single before Kansas City loaded the bases and Dozier connected on Hand’s first pitch for his first career grand slam and 13th homer.
Kevin McCarthy (2-1) pitched the eighth and stumbled into a win, and Ian Kennedy worked the ninth for his 10th save.
Tyler Naquin hit a two-run homer and Carlos Santana, Roberto Perez and Mike Freeman had solo shots for the Indians.
Rangers 5, Tigers 3
In Detroit, Jesse Chavez pitched into the seventh inning in his longest outing in over two years, and Texas beat Detroit.
Detroit has lost 18 of its last 20 home games, and that does not include a game last month that was suspended with the Tigers trailing.
Chavez (3-2) allowed an unearned run and five hits in 6⅓ innings, striking out seven with no walks. It was his longest outing since he went seven innings on June 16, 2017.
Ronald Guzman homered for Texas, and Ronny Rodriguez went deep in the ninth inning for Detroit.
Jordan Zimmermann (0-5) allowed three runs in five innings. Detroit has lost five straight and nine of 10.
The Rangers were without Asdrubal Cabrera, who was starting a three-game suspension for hitting an umpire with equipment.
Astros 5, Pirates 1
In Houston, Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman homered to back up a solid start by Gerrit Cole in his first meeting against his former team, and Houston beat Pittsburgh.
Cole (7-5) yielded seven hits and one run in six innings against the team which drafted him first overall in 2011 and where he spent five seasons before a trade to Houston before last season. Cole struck out three and walked two as he won his third straight decision.
Bregman got things going in the fourth with a double off Trevor Williams before Gurriel launched a fastball into the seats in left field with two outs in the inning to make it 2-0.
An RBI single by Melky Cabrera got the Pirates within 1 in the sixth before Bregman opened the bottom of the inning with his 22nd home run to make it 3-1.
Williams (2-2) allowed eight hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Twins 9, Rays 4
In Minneapolis, Eddie Rosario had four hits, Willians Astudillo added three hits and Minnesota extended Blake Snell’s troubles.
Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron hit solo homers for Minnesota, which got to Snell (4-7) for seven runs and 11 hits in just 3⅓ innings.
Kyle Gibson (8-4) allowed four runs and seven hits in seven innings as the Twins won for the third time in four games.
The Twins scored three runs in each of the third and fourth innings to chase Snell, with Rosario tallying an RBI single in each.
Snell has won once in his last nine starts. In five starts in June, the reigning American League Cy Young winner has a 12.11 ERA and has given up six or more runs three times.
Mariners 8, Brewers 3
In Milwaukee, Daniel Vogelbach hit a two-run homer to lift Seattle past Milwaukee for the Mariners’ first interleague win in five tries this season.
Marco Gonzales (9-6) pitched five innings to earn his fourth consecutive win for the Mariners, who are playing at Miller Park for the first time since 2010. Four Mariners’ relievers shut out the Brewers over the final four innings.
After the Brewers got a run in the first, the Mariners scored four times in the third off Milwaukee starter Zach Davies (7-2). J.P. Crawford drove in a run with a triple and Domingo Santana plated another with a double off the glove of Milwaukee shortstop Orlando Arcia. Vogelbach capped it with his 19th homer, a two-run, 419-foot shot into the second deck in right.
Seattle added two more runs in the fourth, aided by shoddy fielding by the Brewers.
Yasmani Grandal hit a solo homer and Jesus Aguilar had a run-scoring single for Milwaukee in the fifth off Gonzales, who gave up eight hits and three runs.
Athletics 7, Cardinals 3
In St. Louis, Chad Pinder and Marcus Semien homered in a six-run fifth inning, and Oakland rallied to beat St. Louis.
Matt Olson also went deep to help the Athletics win for the sixth time in eight games.
Tha A’s, who had totaled nine runs over their last three games, overcame a 3-1 deficit with the big fifth inning to knock out Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty (4-5).
Flaherty gave up a season-high seven runs and nine hits and a walk in 4⅔ innings. He gave up three homers to raise his total to nine allowed in five June starts. Overall, Flaherty has given up 18 homers in 16 starts this season.
J.B. Wendelken (1-1) picked up his first MLB victory after spending time with Oakland in parts of three seasons. He got the final two outs of the fourth inning and was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the fifth.
Giants 4, Rockies 2
In San Francisco, Madison Bumgarner struck out 11 batters in six innings and also drove in a run with an RBI single that helped lead San Francisco.
Bumgarner (4-7) bounced back from a rough start with a sharp performance in what could be an audition for a contender looking to add a proven playoff performer down the stretch. Bumgarner retired the first 10 batters he faced with six strikeouts before allowing a solo homer to Ian Desmond.
The only other run he gave up came in the sixth inning when left fielder Alex Dickerson appeared to lose a fly ball by David Dahl in the lights, leading to an RBI double that cut San Francisco’s lead to 3-2.
Will Smith pitched the ninth for his 21st save.
Bumgarner also got into the act with his bat when he followed a two-out, RBI single by Donovan Solano in the fourth inning against Chi Chi Gonzalez (0-1) with one of his own to make it 3-1.
Gio Gonzalez (0-1), making his first appearance in the majors since 2016, allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.
Tyler Austin added a pinch-hit homer in the seventh for the Giants to make it 4-2.