CINCINNATI (AP) — Aaron Judge had a go-ahead single in the 10th inning for his fourth hit of the game, and the New York Yankees beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Saturday after cutting Aaron Hicks with $27.6 million on the outfielder’s contract.
New York overcame a 4-1 deficit in a three-run fifth inning against Luke Weaver on Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s homer, Judge’s RBI double off the left-field wall and Anthony Rizzo’s run-scoring single.
Judge also had a run-scoring single against the left-field fence in the third as part of a 4-for-4 afternoon with three RBIs. He is hitting .378 with seven homers, 18 RBIs and a 1.402 OPS in 11 games since returning from the injured list on May 9..
“I try not to think about being in a hot streak,” he said. “It’s about going out there and assessing the situation. I look at who is on the mound and what I have to do to help the team. If you go up with that mindset, you never know if you’re hot or cold.”
Greg Allen, reacquired by the Yankees on Friday night, opened the 10th as the automatic runner on second. He advanced on Gleyber Torres’ flyout and scored on Judge’s single off Ian Gibaut (3-1).
“If you’re not competing against him, he’s fun to watch,” Reds catcher Luke Maile said.
Anthony Rizzo followed with a two-run homer, his second in two nights and 24th at Great American Ball Park.
“Having Riz behind me helps big time,” Judge said.
Rizzo is hitting .303 with 11 homers and 28 RBIs.
“Rizzo has been our rock,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “He’s been rock solid to start the year, that one constant, even when we missed Judge for the 10 or 11 games, Anthony was right in the middle of things. He’s hit for power and is one of our leaders.”
Reds manager David Bell admitted that walking Judge at that point among the scenarios he pondered.
“With Judge there, that’s an uncomfortable situation,” Bell said.
Clay Holmes (2-2) allowed a walk in a scoreless ninth, and Ryan Weber pitched the 10th to give the Yankees seven pitchers with saves, the most of any big league team.
After the final out, Boone exchanged a handshake with banned Reds great Pete Rose, who watched the game from a first-row seat.
New York (28-20) has won five of six and 10 of 13, improving to a season-high eight games over .500.
Hicks was designated for assignment to make room for Allen, acquired in a trade with Boston on Friday. The 33-year-old Hicks was batting .188 with a homer and five RBIs in 28 games this season. His $70 million, seven-year contract is guaranteed through 2025.
Cincinnati (19-26) has lost five of six.
“Those games are so much fun,” Maile said. “I wish every game was like that.”
The game drew 41,374 fans, Cincinnati’s second-largest home crowd and the team’s second sellout this season. Many of them raucously cheered for the Yankees.
Run-scoring singles by Jake Fraley in the first and Spencer Steer in the third and Maile’s two-run homer in the fourth built a 4-1 lead against rookie Jhony Brito.
Ben Rortvedt went 2 for 4 with a double and two strikeouts in his Yankees debut. Acquired from Minnesota in March 2022 trade that sent Gary Sánchez to the Twins, Rortvedt strained his right oblique during that spring training, went on the injured list and stayed in the minors when he returned. He had left shoulder aneurysm surgery late in spring training this year and played his first minor league game on April 21.
Judge was cut down at the plate in the fifth while trying to score from second on Rizzo’s single to right, Fraley to second baseman Jonathan India, who relayed to Maile at the plate.
Yankees: LHP Carlos Rondón (left elbow strain, back stiffness) played catch at up to 120 feet before Saturday’s game before catching a flight to New York, where he’ll rejoin the team after it returns from the current trip.
Reds: OF Henry Ramos was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right hip strain. OF Will Benson was recalled from Triple-A Louisville … A magnetic resonance imaging test revealed that RHP Derek Law has a flexor mass strain in his right elbow, Bell said. … India fouled a ball off his left leg, just below the knee, before striking out in the ninth and left the game at the start of the 10th. Bell said X-rays were negative.
Yankees RHP Luis Severino is scheduled to make his 2023 debut against Reds RHP Hunter Greene (0-3) on Sunday morning after recovering from a strained right lat muscle that had sidelined him since spring training.