NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge robbed Shohei Ohtani of a homer just before hitting a two-run shot, and the New York Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 Wednesday night on Gleyber Torres’ sacrifice fly in the 10th inning.
Judge also saved the go-ahead run with a diving grab in the eighth inning, and the Yankees evened this star-studded series after dropping the opener.
Gio Urshela tied it 2-all for the Angels in the eighth with a two-out RBI single against his former team — one pitch after Wandy Peralta balked Hunter Renfroe to second base.
Brandon Drury followed with a slicing drive to deep right-center that would have knocked in the go-ahead run if Judge hadn’t made a sensational catch just shy of the warning track.
Angels manager Phil Nevin was ejected in the ninth for arguing after Mike Trout was called out to end the inning on a full-count check swing with two on against Clay Holmes. Between innings, Nevin went all the way out to shallow right field to get in the face of first base umpire Will Little and give him an earful.
With one out and the automatic runner at second, Judge was intentionally walked in the 10th before Matt Moore (1-1) plunked Anthony Rizzo with a breaking ball to load the bases.
Torres, in a 1-for-21 slide, lofted a fly ball to deep right-center, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa scored easily from third without a throw.
Ian Hamilton (1-1) worked a scoreless inning for his second major league win, aided by a fine play at third base from DJ LeMahieu.
The game got off to a rousing start when Ohtani, the second batter, sent a high fly to deep center field. The 6-foot-7 Judge went back to the wall and jumped, a little to the right of the 408-foot sign in front of Monument Park.
The ball hit the heel of Judge’s glove well above the fence and caromed back toward the warning track. As he landed on his feet after keeping the ball in the park, Judge stuck out his bare hand and completed the catch — a snapshot play headed for the highlight reels in this three-game series featuring several of baseball’s biggest stars.
Last year’s AL MVP paused a moment and flashed a wide smile wide as he tossed the ball in.
Judge then launched a two-run shot into the left-center bullpen in the bottom of the first off Griffin Canning for his sixth homer this season. The slugger hit 62 last year, breaking the American League record.
In the series opener Tuesday night, Ohtani hit a two-run homer in the first inning, sending the Angels on their way to a 5-2 victory. The two-way superstar won the 2021 AL MVP award before finishing runner-up to Judge last year.
Ohtani had several chances to do damage Wednesday but stranded three runners with inning-ending strikeouts in the fifth and seventh.
Yankees rookie Jhony Brito rebounded from a dreadful outing last week, when he gave up seven runs while getting only two outs against Minnesota. The right-hander took a shutout into the fifth this time and was charged with one run over 4 1/3 innings.
The second double of the night by Angels rookie Zach Neto chased Brito and set up Taylor Ward’s RBI groundout against Michael King.
Canning allowed two runs and four hits over 5 1/3 for Los Angeles in his second start following a long injury layoff.
Yankees: 3B Josh Donaldson (strained right hamstring) remains on the injured list after feeling hamstring tightness during a chilly rehab game Tuesday with Double-A Somerset. Donaldson was undergoing tests and receiving treatment Wednesday at Yankee Stadium. For now, his next step is uncertain. “Hopefully, I don’t think it was anything too severe,” manager Aaron Boone said. … LHP Carlos Rodón, sidelined since spring training with a strained left forearm, had tests on his bothersome back. “I know the first half of it was fairly normal, so I think it’s just kind of a nagging thing,” Boone said.
Angels: LHP Patrick Sandoval (1-0, 1.23 ERA) gets the ball for a late-afternoon start in the series finale Thursday. Sandoval won his only previous matchup against the Yankees, throwing seven innings of three-hit ball with seven strikeouts last August at home.
Yankees: All-Star lefty Nestor Cortes (2-0, 2.60 ERA) has allowed two runs or fewer in nine straight starts, matching the longest such streak in Yankees history.
Mike Fitzpatrick, The Associated Press