Cole strikes out 11, Judge hits 49th HR as Yankees beat Athletics

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
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OAKLAND, Calif. — Gerrit Cole is having a blast watching Aaron Judge clobber baseballs over the fence at a remarkable rate.

And Judge, well, he sure loves seeing Cole pile up strikeouts from his spot in the outfield.

“Especially in center field,” Judge said. “In right field you’re just kind of reacting over there, you really don’t get to see guys paint corners or what they’re doing. But when you’re in center field and can watch a guy like that work and strike out the guys he did, the sequences he did, he was on from the very first pitch he threw.”

Cole struck out 11 in his first win since July 17, and Judge hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning to help the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 3-2 on Friday night.

Judge’s 49th homer of the season was No. 200 for the Yankees, which leads the majors.

“For me, it’s really special,” Cole said. “I get to have the best seat in the house every night for the Aaron Judge show, which is one of a kind right now.”

Cole (10-6) allowed one run and three hits over 7 1/3 innings to snap a six-start winless stretch in which he’d gone 0-4 since beating Boston last month. He reached double-digit wins for the eighth time in his career.

Cole had his seventh start of the season with 10 or more strikeouts. He has 1,335 strikeouts since 2017, the most in the majors during that span.

Jonah Bride connected for his first career homer in the seventh against Cole. After Jonathan Loaisiga got the final two outs of the eighth, Wandy Peralta gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Dermis Garcia but finished the 2-hour, 50-minute game for his third save.

New York faced a former Yankee for the second straight game. Left-hander JP Sears (5-1) pitched against his old team for the first time since joining Oakland in a trade for Frankie Montas and Lou Trivino before the Aug. 2 deadline.

Sears allowed Judge’s homer and eight hits over six innings with three strikeouts and four walks. Oakland’s loss came one night after allowing 20 hits in a 13-4 defeat, the most allowed by the A’s since Cleveland had 20 on July 1, 2018.

Judge, supported in the stands by friends from his church in the Central Valley city of Stockton, walked in his other three plate appearances – once intentionally. He is three homers shy of matching his career-best mark of 52 set during his AL Rookie of the Year season in 2017.

Judge isn’t counting his homers, insisting “it’s just another number.”

“I just try to be a good hitter, I try to be a great teammate,” Judge said. “Day in and day out that’s always my goal.”

New York’s Jose Trevino was hit by a pitch in the eighth by Jared Koenig and initially kept playing before exiting in the ninth.

Manager Aaron Boone said Trevino injured his big toe and it was painful and stiff right away.

“You fear the worst when you see it, but good news on the X-ray,” Boone said. “We’ll see what we have moving forward.”

The Yankees have won all five matchups in the season series with Oakland, which has dropped four of its last five games overall.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Yankees: OF Harrison Bader, on the 60-day injured list with plantar fasciitis in his right foot, has begun swinging a bat and could begin his running progression this weekend. He won’t be on the Yankees’ West Coast swing that includes a series in Anaheim early next week but could meet the club in Tampa, Florida, next Friday and still rehab at their facility there. … 1B DJ LeMahieu played again after a day off and will be closely monitored by the training staff the rest of the way as he deals with inflammation in his right big toe. Treatment has been helping. “It’s going to be something that we pay attention to the rest of the year,” Boone said. … All-Star LHP Nestor Cortes continues to work on flat ground after he went on the 15-day injured list Thursday with a strained left groin. “The next big challenge will be getting off the mound,” Boone said.

Athletics: OF Skye Bolt (right knee) went on the 10-day injured list a day after being hit by a pitch from Yankees rookie Greg Weissert in a wild major league debut for the reliever. Bolt threw down his bat in frustration. He felt like his kneecap slid, according to athletic trainer Nick Paparesta. “We don’t believe there is a lot of damage within the knee,” Paparesta said. “We felt it would be best to give this an opportunity for it to heal properly, get his full function and mobility back with his strength instead of kind of trying to kind of play through this a little bit and injure other things and compensate for problems that may arise.” … RHP Brent Honeywell threw 45 pitches over two innings Thursday for Triple-A Las Vegas and his next step is expected to be pitching back-to-back days out of the bullpen next week. He was shut down during spring training in late March with a stress reaction in his pitching elbow.

UP NEXT

Yankees RHP Domingo German (2-2, 3.89 ERA) starts Saturday having allowed three or fewer runs in his last six outings, the second-longest such streak of his career. The A’s counter with RHP Adam Oller (2-6, 6.41) as he looks to bounce back from a loss to the Marlins. Oller is 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two career appearances vs. New York.

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Moments after Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost two decades after his final game, he got the question.

Asked if Barry Bonds belonged in Cooperstown, a smiling McGriff responded: “Honestly, right now, I’m going to just enjoy this evening.”

A Hall of Fame committee delivered its answer Sunday, passing over Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling while handing McGriff the biggest honor of his impressive big league career.

The lanky first baseman, nicknamed the “Crime Dog,” hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams. The five-time All-Star helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot in 2019. Now, he will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote, announced Jan. 24.

“It’s all good. It’s been well worth the wait,” said McGriff, who played his last big league game in 2004.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling dropped after he made hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

While the 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee – comprised of Hall members, executives and writers – Schilling got seven votes, and Bonds and Clemens each received fewer than four.

The makeup of the committee likely will change over the years, but the vote was another indication that Bonds and Clemens might never make it to the Hall.

This year’s contemporary era panel included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A player needs 75% to be elected.

“It’s tough deciding on who to vote for and who not to vote for and so forth,” McGriff said. “So it’s a great honor to be unanimously voted in.”

In addition to all his big hits and memorable plays, one of McGriff’s enduring legacies is his connection to a baseball skills video from youth coach Tom Emanski. The slugger appeared in a commercial for the product that aired regularly during the late 1990s and early 2000s – wearing a blue Baseball World shirt and hat.

McGriff said he has never seen the video.

“Come Cooperstown, I’ve got to wear my blue hat,” a grinning McGriff said. “My Tom Emanski hat in Cooperstown. See that video is going to make a revival now, it’s going to come back.”

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s committee, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot. Mattingly was next closest to election, with eight votes of 12 required. Murphy had six.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their final chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was the GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade with the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.