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Red-Hot Aaron Judge Makes First Trip to SF's Oracle Park
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By Associated Press
Published 2 weeks ago on
May 31, 2024

Aaron Judge, the former Fresno State standout, will play at San Francisco's Oracle Park for the first time in the midst of one of the best months of his nine-year career. (AP/LM Otero)

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ANAHEIM — Aaron Judge will play at San Francisco’s Oracle Park for the first time in the midst of one of the best months of his nine-year career.

Judge is batting .355 in May with 12 home runs and 25 RBIs. The batting average is his second-best hitting stretch in months where has played at least 21 games.

Overcoming a Slow Start

That is also quite a change from the start of the month, when Judge had a .207 average in March and April along with plenty of questions about the slow start.

While everyone else might have been worried, Judge maintained an even keel.

“Can’t sit there feeling sorry for yourself when things aren’t going right. Still have games to play and win. Just try to stay consistent and help the team win,” he said after Thursday night’s 8-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels. “I feel like every season I have one of those months where things just aren’t going your way. It was tough that it had to be April in the beginning, especially with the type of team we have and how good we are.”

Joining the Ranks of Lou Gehrig

With a two-run shot in the fourth inning, Judge joined Lou Gehrig as the only Yankees players to have at least 12 home runs and 12 doubles in a calendar month. Gehrig accomplished the feat in July 1930.

The long ball also tied him with Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson and Houston’s Kyle Tucker for the MLB lead at 18.

“The fact that we’re in May and all the questions about the slow start and you look up there with the season he is having, just a special player doing special things,” manager Aaron Boone said of Judge.

Excitement for San Francisco Debut

The Northern California native and former Fresno State standout, who also leads the majors in slugging (.617) and OPS (1.020), said he is excited about playing in San Francisco for the first time.

Judge was heavily recruited by the Giants in December 2022, when he was a free agent, but decided to remain with the Yankees, signing a nine-year, $360 million contract.

The Yankees last trip to San Francisco was in 2019, but Judge missed that April series due to an oblique injury.

New York comes in an AL-best 39-19 and with wins in four of the six games on their road trip.

“I’ll have a lot of family, a lot of friends. That’ll be fine,” he said. “I’m excited. I missed a chance to play there in ’19 and excited to get a chance to play a couple games there.”

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