Josh Hamilton homers for first time since May 12

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Josh Hamilton’s home run drought is finally over. And yes, I write that with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

After Aaron mentioned this morning that Hamilton hadn’t homered in nearly two weeks, the Rangers’ slugger went deep in the bottom of the second inning tonight against the Blue Jays. His solo shot off right-hander Carlos Villanueva landed in the second deck in right field.

It was Hamilton’s first home run since May 12, spanning 11 games and 47 plate appearances. Even with the two-week gap between round-trippers, Hamilton still leads the majors by a wide margin with 19 home runs. After hitting another home run tonight, Adam Dunn currently ranks second in the majors with 15.

Aaron Judge has a “pretty significant strain” of his oblique

Aaron Judge
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In case you missed it over the weekend, the New York Yankees suffered yet another huge blow when another huge star went on the injured list. The star: Aaron Judge, who strained his oblique during Saturday’s 9-2 win over the Royals.

Yesterday the Yankees placed him on the injured list. In so doing, Yankees manager Aaron Boone called it a “pretty significant strain in there.” The team did not offer a timeline, but Boone said they’ll monitor Judge for a couple of weeks to see where he is. Oblique strains, however, can cause a player to miss a lot of time. Four to six weeks is not unheard of for even moderate oblique strains. Guys with major strains have missed months.

Judge is the Yankees’ 13th player currently on the injured list and is the 14th Yankees player to visit it overall on the young season. Joining him there at the moment :

It’s an All-Star team’s worth of injuries. It’s such a good group of players that Ellsbury couldn’t even make the starting lineup of the all-injured team.

Though we often ignore it in season-long narratives of successful and unsuccessful teams, choosing to focus on great or poor performances, the fact of the matter is that team health is almost always a big, big factor in who wins and who loses. No one is going to cry for the Yankees here, of course, but at some point there are just too many injuries to overcome. One has to wonder if New York has reached that point yet.