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Aaron Judge Caps Scorching May With Two-Homer Performance At Oracle Park, Seizes MLB HR Lead


Aaron Judge and the New York Yankees are playing a weekend series in San Francisco this weekend, his first visit to the city since he almost signed a deal with the Giants last offseason. Judge and the Giants were so close to a deal that there was a mistake in the report claiming he was on his way to San Francisco, with the name “Arson Judge” misspelled.

Judge played his first-ever game at Oracle Park (NY 6, SF 2) on Friday to start the three-game series between the Giants and Yankees. Before each of his at-bats, he received a healthy dose of boos. It makes sense; you can not expect to win over fans by turning down a $360 million free-agent contract. That is the way things are.

The jeers did not affect Judge. He led the major leagues in home runs scored with 20 after smashing a three-run blast in his second at-bat and a solo shot in his third.

These two home runs sealed the deal for Judge’s amazing May. As of Friday, he had hit .355/.479/.871 in May with 12 doubles and 12 home runs. This came after a slow April in which he slashed .207/.340/.414 and hit six home runs. Despite the best efforts of all to identify what was wrong with him, he just needed some time to get back on track.

Judge was reportedly offered a contract by the Giants that was identical to the nine-year, $360 million deal that he ultimately signed with the Yankees. Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees’ owner, personally intervened in the negotiations, agreeing to pay Judge the sum he asked for and naming him captain. Judge, who was born and raised in Linden, California, not far from the Bay Area, finally decided to remain in New York rather than go back home.

With a 39-19 record going into this weekend’s series, the Yankees had the best record in the American League. The Judge-less Giants, meanwhile, have won 10 of their previous 13 games and are currently 29–28.

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