Aaron Judge homers twice, but Yankees' offensive struggles continue without Juan Soto in 11-3 loss to Dodgers

The Yankees were defeated by the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-3 on Saturday night in the Bronx, as their offense struggled for the second straight day without superstar outfielder Juan Soto, who remained on the bench due to left forearm inflammation.

Here are some takeaways...

- Friday's extra-inning hero, Teoscar Hernandez, was front and center again in this one for the Dodgers. The slugging outfielder opened the scoring with a solo home run into the bullpen in the top of the second, and then a few innings later, he put the game away for good with a grand slam off Tommy Kahnle. Hernandez finished the day 2-for-4 with a career-high six RBI, so he's now driven in eight of the 10 runs the Dodgers have scored over the first two games of this series.

- Kiké Hernandez also continued his strong start to the series by sneaking a 346-foot solo home run just over the short porch in right field with one out in the top of the fifth. The pesky infielder has gone deep just four times this season, but he's been a thorn in the Yankees' side, reaching base four times during the first two meetings.

- Nestor Cortes came into the night with a terrific 1.21 ERA and 0.71 WHIP across his first six starts at Yankee Stadium this season, but he was knocked around a bit by the high-powered Dodgers lineup. The crafty southpaw's night came to an end after he allowed four runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out four across 5.1 innings of work.

- Michael Tonkin has been incredible with the Yanks and he helped Cortes get out of a tough sixth inning jam with just one inherited run scored. He then followed that up with another easy frame to push his streak to nine consecutive scoreless innings and lower his ERA to a stellar 0.93 mark since being picked up from the Mets.

- Aaron Judge did give the Yanks some life early on with a solo home run, but the rest of the offense didn't quite follow suit. He added another in the bottom of the ninth with the game long out of reach, giving him a league-best 23 on the season. The red-hot outfielder finished the day 2-for-4 and he's now hitting an incredible .398 with 16 long balls, 37 RBI, a .530 on-base percentage, and a 1.530 OPS over his last 30 games.

- Anthony Volpe had a massive chance with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, but he flew out to shallow left to end the inning and get the Dodgers out of the jam. While he didn't come through in that spot, the shortstop was able to push his on-base streak to 34 games with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first. The 23-year-old is also riding an eight-game hitting streak and he's batting .321 with two triples and a double over that span.

- Anthony Rizzo's deep struggles to start the month of June continued, as he went hitless for the sixth time over the last seven games. The left-handed hitting veteran is now batting .224 with just seven home runs and a .624 OPS on the season.

- New York's now scored just four runs while leaving 19 men on base and going 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position over the past two games with Soto sidelined, and it looks like they'll have to turn things around on their own, as Aaron Boone told reporters pregame that they are leaning towards holding him out of the lineup for at least a couple of more days.

- After right-hander Dennis Santana loaded the bases and couldn't put the finishing touches on the top of the ninth, the skipper decided to toss infielder Oswaldo Cabrera on the mound, and he walked in a pair of runs before recording the final out of the inning.

MVP of the Game: Teoscar Hernandez

I mean, let's be honest, Hernandez has been the MVP of the Game and MVP of the Series so far.

With his game-winning hit on Friday night, and then a career-high six RBI during tonight's victory, the power-hitting outfielder has been right in the middle of the Dodgers taking the first two of this massive three-game set.


Upcoming schedule

The Yankees and Dodgers close out this highly-anticipated three-game series with a 7:10 p.m. matchup on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.

We'll be in for another terrific pitching matchup in this one as aces Luis Gil (8-1, 1.82 ERA) and Tyler Glasnow (6-4, 2.93 ERA) take the mound for their respective teams.