Twins collect same number of hits as Aaron Judge in loss to Yankees

Try as they might, there was nothing Twins pitchers could do Wednesday night to stymie Yankees star Aaron Judge.

The superstar was a one-man wrecking crew, blasting a home run to Target Field’s third deck in left field, smacking three doubles and collecting a walk in the Yankees’ 4-0 win over the Twins.

His first-inning home run off Pablo López, who gave up a season-high 10 hits but minimized the damage against him well for the most part, traveled 467 feet. It was the 10th-longest home run hit at Target Field in the Statcast era.

“It looked like a home run derby homer to me. I just turned around and saw the thing looked like that,” López said while making a tiny circular motion.

Two innings later, Judge led off the third with a double to center and came around to score on a Giancarlo Stanton base knock. In the seventh, Judge drove in Juan Soto with a double that center fielder Willi Castro broke in for initially before it flew over his head.

It was a second consecutive tough day in the outfield for Castro, who was directly responsible for the Yankees’ second run of the game.

With the bases loaded in the second inning, Anthony Volpe hit a routine fly ball to Castro, who caught it and then started trotting toward the dugout. Problem was, Castro had lost track of how many outs the Yankees had recorded. That was the second out, and Castro’s mistake allowed Gleyber Torres to score easily from third without a throw home.

Castro, clearly frustrated with himself, caught the third out of the inning, too, and chucked the ball off an advertisement at the top of the stands in anger.

Manager Rocco Baldelli said he addressed it with Castro, and López said the utilityman had approached him to take responsibility.

“This is a guy that is highly competitive, plays extremely hard, works as hard as anybody in our clubhouse, truly. Tremendous-charactered individual,” Baldelli said. “Watching him be frustrated with himself is really what I think we’re seeing here, and it’s understandable, totally understandable. I think he needs to do a better job of controlling himself, but I know why he’s feeling the way he’s feeling.”

While Castro’s mental mistake was costly, it was hardly the only issue for the Twins (24-18) on a night where they finished with just four hits, the same number as Judge.

Minnesota loaded the bases in the second inning on an error and two walks but was unable to capitalize on its best opportunity of the night against Yankees (29-15) starter Marcus Stroman.

An inning later, Edouard Julien led off with a double, but the Twins couldn’t advance him home and a close play at first was overturned upon replay — a replay that the Yankees asked for after their time expired, which Baldelli came out to protest. He said he was told their phone used for replays was not working.

The Twins had one more good scoring chance in the eighth inning that was squelched by a double play, helping lead them to their second straight loss.

“They have good pitching. We didn’t swing the bats well,” Baldelli said. “I think we could probably say we could do everything significantly better than we’ve done them the last two days.”

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