Aaron Judge hits walk-off home run as Yankees earn series split with Houston

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NEW YORK – Seemingly every chapter of this Yankees season has brought a new layer of history.

On Sunday, it was almost for all the wrong reasons.

The Yankees found themselves eight outs from becoming the first team in MLB history to get no-hit in consecutive games. That was, until, Aaron Boone's club rallied with a late power surge that sent the rival Houston Astros home with a series split.

Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu both went deep and Aaron Judge crushed a walk-off home run in the 10th as the Yanks battled back to beat Houston, 6-3, on a steamy Sunday in the Bronx.

It's the 10th walk-off win of the season for the Yankees and the second this series for Judge, who singled in the winning run on Thursday.

By now, no one in baseball has completed more comeback wins than the major-league leading Yankees (53-20).

"It's a great tough room with a lot of resolve," Boone said. "They know what the mission is. They understand that there's going to be bumps and hiccups and adversity within a game, within a series, within a week. They're equipped to handle it."

Judge and Co. were held hit-less for more than 16 straight innings dating back to a loss on Friday night. It's their longest such streak over the last 70 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Jun 26, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) celebrates his game tying two run home run against the Houston Astros with center fielder Aaron Judge (99) during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees third baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) celebrates his game tying two run home run against the Houston Astros with center fielder Aaron Judge (99) during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Stanton put the streak to an end with a solo home run to center with one out in the seventh.

An inning later, LeMahieu hit a game-tying, two-run shot off reliever Phil Maton to re-ignite a crowd of 44,028 fans.

And with his 28th long ball of the season, Judge moved only five behind Roger Maris for the most by a Yankee before the All-Star break.

"I've been saying it for years," Judge said. "It doesn't matter what the score is or what happened the night before in the series. Any time we get up there and have a chance to hit and do something, we have a chance to win a game."

Astros starter Jose Urquidy retired the first 11 batters on Sunday after watching three of his teammates combine for a no-hitter a day earlier. But the Yankees came to life when Houston manager Dusty Baker called to the bullpen after Urquidy threw 100 pitches over seven effective innings.

Helping matters was Michael King (5-1), who picked up the win after working around an error in a scoreless 10th.

"Unfazed. That group is unfazed" Boone said. "We certainly respect everyone and know when you're playing the Astros that's a great opponent. But we also don't sweat anyone."

Jun 26, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) reacts after giving up a two run single to Houston Astros left fielder Mauricio Dubon (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium.
Jun 26, 2022; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Nestor Cortes (65) reacts after giving up a two run single to Houston Astros left fielder Mauricio Dubon (not pictured) during the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium.

Gone cold

How bad had things gotten for the Yankee offense in the early going? One of the loudest ovations of the day came when a cloud provided a momentary break from the hot summer sun.

The Astros subdued the Stadium crowd on the first pitch of the game when Jose Altuve belted a leadoff home run off starter Nestor Cortes.

"They battle and they know what it takes to win," Cortes said of the Astros, who own the second-best record in the AL. "They're going to be up there all season."

In total, Cortes allowed three earned runs and struck out seven in five innings of work.

In his last four starts, Cortes has come back down to Earth by allowing 12 earned runs in 19 innings (5.68 ERA). His workload became a topic of conversation before the game as the 27-year-old has never thrown more than 93 innings in a major league season.

Boone is considering using a sixth starter for the upcoming series against Oakland with his team in a stretch of 20 straight days without an off day.

"I'm not going to put a limitation on (Cortes' innings)," Boone said before the game. "Just be smart about it. I think it'll kind of declare itself as we go on."

Now the concern turns to second baseman Gleyber Torres, who left the game with a mild ankle sprain. Afterward, Boone told reporters that he doesn't believe it's a serious issue.

"I think we dodged a bullet there," Boone said. "He caught a spike and kind of rolled it there at third. I'm hoping it scared him more than anything."

Down the road

Left-hander Aroldis Chapman threw a scoreless inning on Sunday in a rehab outing with the Double-A Somerset Patriots.

It's the second appearance in three days for Chapman (left Achilles tendinitis), who's about to be joined by a pinstriped teammate.

Domingo German is on his way north for a rehab game Tuesday with Somerset. German tossed three scoreless innings in a start on Wednesday with Single-A Tampa and continues to work his way back from right shoulder impingement.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Loaisiga (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to throw a bullpen session on Monday and Wednesday. If all goes well, the Yankees could have the hard-throwing reliever face live batters next weekend.

Sean Farrell is a sports reporter for NorthJersey.com. For full access to live scores, breaking news and analysis from our Varsity Aces team, subscribe today. To get breaking news directly to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter and download our app

Email: farrells@northjersey.com 

Twitter: @seanfarrell92 

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Aaron Judge hits walk-off home run as NY Yankees beat Houston