Yankees’ Judge hits no. 60, ties Ruth

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge joined exclusive company when he turned on a sinker from Pirates right-hander Will Crowe and sent it into the left field bleachers:

That shot gave Judge 60 home runs on the season, tying him with the legendary Babe Ruth and leaving him one shy of Roger Maris’ single-season American League record.

Judge’s 60th home run came off a pitcher whose great-great uncle, Hall of Famer Red Ruffing, was Ruth’s teammate on the Yankees in the 1930s. Crowe visited Ruffing’s plaque in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park before the game.

There have now been nine 60-home run seasons in MLB history, achieved by six players. Judge joined Ruth, Maris, Barry Bonds (2001), Mark McGwire (1998, 1999) and Sammy Sosa (1998, 1999, 2001).

Judge’s 59 home runs were already the most by a right-handed batter in AL history. Judge had also already joined Ruth (four) and Mickey Mantle (two) as only the third member of the storied Yankees franchise to have multiple 50-homer seasons while wearing pinstripes.

Judge also took over the Triple Crown lead Tuesday night, with his .316 batting average moving atop the AL as Minnesota Twins first baseman Luis Arraez dropped to .314. Judge, who is all but a lock to lead the league in homers and RBIs (128), has a chance to become the 11th player to win the Triple Crown since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920. The last Triple Crown winner was Miguel Cabrera in 2012.