BALTIMORE – Aaron Judge homered twice, Nestor Cortes pitched into the sixth inning after umpires forced him to blot out a marking on his glove and the New York Yankees beat Baltimore 5-3 on Sunday to take two of three from the Orioles.
Judge hit solo homers in the third inning off Tyler Wells (0-1) and the eighth inning off Logan Gillaspie for his 28th multihomer game and first this season. Judge is batting .364 and has four homers in nine games this season after hitting his fourth in game 17 last year en route to an American League record 62.
“They have great pitchers that come after you, They really don’t back down from anybody,” Judge said. “You like that as a competitor.”
Franchy Cordero also went deep for the Yankees, who have homered in their first nine games for the fourth time.
Judge has homered in 10 of his last 18 games against the Orioles and has 37 homers against them. Judge had three hits and is batting .315 with 21 homers and 42 RBIs in 47 games at Camden Yards. With 224 home runs, he passed Don Mattingly for 11th on the Yankees’ career list.
Off to a 6-3 start, New York has won its first three series for just the third time in 20 years. The Yankees won their first five in 2010 and first four in 2020.
Adley Rutschman went 4 for 4 with a homer in the eighth off Jimmy Cordero that pulled the Orioles to 5-3. He is batting .389.
Cortes (2-0) improved to 4-0 with 56 strikeouts in eight appearances against Baltimore, allowing two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
Baltimore appeared to complain about a white “44” on Cortes’ glove, which at the direction of plate umpire Bill Miller was obscured after the first inning.
“I wasn’t bothered by it,” Cortes said. “I’ve been pitching with a white ‘44”’ forever. The fact that he came over to me and said that it was a problem kind of (made me mad), but other than that, I don’t have a problem with it.”
Cortes also wore mustache-themed cleats for the second start in a row.
Clay Holmes completed a five-pitcher six-hitter, throwing eight of nine pitches for strikes in a perfect ninth for his third save.
In a matchup of starters who were former winter meeting draft picks, Wells gave up four runs and six hits in six innings.
“Besides two pitches, I thought he was outstanding,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Giancarlo Stanton hit an RBI single in the first and Judge homered in the third to chants of “MVP”. by the crowd. Judge was 6 for 10 with two homers and four RBIs against Wells last year, including a 465-foot drive. He has reached base in a career-best 42 games.
Cordero, released by the Orioles on March 28, increased the lead to 4-0 with a two-run homer in the fifth.
“That’s my job regardless of what team you’re facing,” Cordero said through a translator. “You have to be happy that you’re contributing. That’s what I’m glad about.”
Cortes extended his scoreless streak against the Orioles to 23 2/3 innings since the start of last season before leaving with two on and one out in the sixth. Anthony Santander hit a two-run double off Albert Abreu, who struck out Austin Hays and Ramón Urías.
OL’ BLUE EYES
Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole belted out a rendition of “That’s Life” to the Frank Sinatra recording of the Dean Kay/Kelly Gordon song playing over the public address system before heading back into the clubhouse before the game.
Yankees: SS prospect Oswald Peraza has not played for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre since Thursday because of a hamstring injury. Manager Aaron Boone characterized Peraza as day to day. … RHP Luis Severino (lat strain) is to throw a bullpen session Monday.
Orioles: C James McCann (oblique) was 0 for 2 in his Orioles debut after recovering from an oblique strain sustained during spring training. The 32-year-old catcher was acquired in December from the New York Mets, who are sending the Orioles $11 million this year and $8 million next year to cover most of the $24 million owed in the final two seasons of a $40.6 million, four-year contract.
Yankees: RHP Domingo Germán (0-1, 7.71 ERA) starts Monday’s series opener in Cleveland after allowing four runs over 4 2/3 innings in his first start against Philadelphia.
Orioles: RHP Kyle Gibson (2-0, 4.50 ERA) will start Monday against Oakland and LHP JP Sears (0-0, 5.79 ERA).