DETROIT (AP) — Aaron Judge ended an 0-for-17 slide with his 249th home run, Luis Severino pitched shutout ball for the second straight start following an alarming skid and the New York Yankees beat the Detroit Tigers 4-1 on Monday night in a series opener.
Judge walked in the fifth and scored on Gleyber Torres’ double, then combined with Torres for back-to-back homers in the seventh off Beau Brieske, Judge’s seventh homer in 10 games.
Judge’s 29th homer of the season came in his 806th career game, and he could become the fastest to 250 homers. Ryan Howard reached 250 in his 855th game in 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Before Howard, the fastest had been Ralph Kiner in 871 games.
“He comes off a few games where, you know, he scuffles a little bit and it looks like it’s going to be that way tonight,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Then you look up and he’s got two walks and a homer. There’s never any panic with him. He knows he’s just got to get himself into a good position and he’s a special player.”
Severino (4-8) allowed five hits in seven innings with eight strikeouts and no walks, following 6 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball against Washington. Severino threw 52 fastballs, averaging 96.2 mph, among 99 pitches.
“We haven’t handled the fastball great,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We really couldn’t put anything together against him.”
Severino has lowered his season ERA from 7.98 to 6.64 in his last two outings after allowing 21 earned runs over 13 1/3 innings over a four-start span.
“I think he’s had some success in his side work, and I think he’s let go a little bit in his mind of thinking about this, that and the other,” Boone said. “He’s focusing on executing instead of all the other things. This is what he’s capable of, and it is good to see him have another really strong (start).”
New York (63-68) arrived in Detroit a season-worst six games under .500 and has not won any of its last 10 series.
Pinch-hitter Akil Baddoo homered leading off the ninth against Clay Holmes, who has allowed runs in four of his last five outings.
Miguel Cabrera singled in the second inning, tying Paul Waner for 18th with 3,152 hits, two shy of George Brett.
Zach McKinstry became the first Tigers player to triple twice in a game since Victor Reyes against Boston on Aug. 5, 2021. McKinstry was thrown out at the plate in the sixth by shortstop Anthony Volpe trying to score on Riley Greene’s grounder, with catcher Kyle Higashioka scooping a short-hop throw.
“I’ve got to dig Clay’s sinker out of the dirt every now and then,” Higashioka said. “Volpe throwing it from second is … that’s just my job.”
Detroit has lost three straight by a combined 30-7. Starter Reese Olson (2-6) struck out a career-high 10 in 4 1/3 innings, but allowed one run, three hits and four walks while throwing 100 pitches.
He fanned the first eight batters he retired, but had to escape a bases-loaded jam in the first thanks to two walks and an error.
“My stuff was obviously there,” Olson said. “There’s a lot of positives to take away, but there are obviously some things I can clean up. I wasn’t very efficient – there were a few too many at-bats I’m taking to the six- or seven-pitch range.”
Oswaldo Cabrera added an RBI single in the eighth.
Detroit played the Yankees for the first time this year. The only other matchup that hasn’t occurred is between Houston and Kansas City.,
Severino escaped injury when Cabrera hit a 99 mph line drive back up the middle in the second inning. Severino dodged and got his glove up, and the ball deflected off a wrist. Cabrera beat the throw to first for a rare infield single.
New York RHP Michael King (3-5, 3.13) starts Tuesday night against Detroit’s LHP Tarik Skubal (3-2, 4.06).