Judge, Carpenter HR twice, Yanks beat Red Sox 14-1

New York Yankees judge Aaron chases home run in the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, July 16, 2022 in New York City.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

New York Yankees judge Aaron chases home run in the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, July 16, 2022 in New York City. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

PA

Yankees fans were hoping to see this version of Aaron Judge, healthy and fighting his way to an eventual 60-home run season.

Matt Carpenter is another matter. Evicted from the scrap heap in May, the former St. Louis Cardinals slugger was a big question mark.

“It became an exclamation point,” manager Aaron Boone said.

And now New York is one win away from punctuating a memorable first half with a series win over its bitter division rival.

Judge hit two home runs to tie Roger Maris’ franchise record of 33 before the All-Star break, Carpenter also connected twice and drove in seven runs, and the Yankees choked the Boston Red Sox 14-1 on Saturday night .

The major league-leading Yankees had lost five of six games, and they seemed to stumble again when Boston’s Rafael Devers homered in the first inning.

Jameson Taillon has leveled off, striking out his last 17 batters while pitching a run over six innings. Ryan Weber closed New York’s three-hitter with a three-inning stoppage — the first of his career — and the Yankees earned their 28th comeback win in the league. Their 63 wins are a franchise before the All-Star break.

Judge had a solo shot against Nick Pivetta in the fifth and a two-point drive against Kaleb Ort in the sixth. He is on pace with 59 homers, giving him a chance to threaten Maris’ club record of 61 set in 1961. Maris had 33 during the All-Star break that season.

“It’s amazing,” Judge said. “We still have one more day. Don’t cut me short now.

A sellout of 47,997 fans pleaded Carpenter for a curtain call after his three-point drive against Darwinzon Hernandez in the fifth. This one put the Yankees ahead 8-1, and they finished the night 5-4 against the Red Sox this season entering Sunday’s series finale.

“To have this moment here with this group of fans and in this team and where this year started for me, pretty special,” Carpenter said.

Carpenter’s other home run was also a three-pointer, and he tied on 13 walks in the eighth. His seven RBI tied a career high, a feat he also accomplished on June 12 against the Cubs.

He has 13 home runs and 31 RBIs in 30 games since joining New York after the Texas Rangers released him from a minor league contract in May. Four of those home runs have come against Boston in the past nine days.

It’s quite a turnaround for the 36-year-old, who spent the winter building a new swing after hitting just .169 with St. Louis last year.

“I think it’s a testament to him and I want to get everything out of his career,” Boone said.

Taillon (10-2) allowed just two hits and struck out five before leaving the blowout with just 79 pitches. The right-hander has had an 8.57 ERA in his last four starts, including a hammering at Fenway Park last weekend.

“It was nice to have a nice, relaxing win,” he said.

Pivetta (8-7) ended a strong first half by allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, and the Red Sox fell to 6-13 in their last 19 games.

Yankees players have described the past week — a blow in an otherwise stellar season to date — as necessary adversity.

They grabbed some more when Devers connected in the first inning for the second night in a row. The solo drive was his 22nd this season, and he’s connected in three consecutive games overall.

New York responded by hitting Pivetta late in the round. After hard hits from Judge and Anthony Rizzo, Carpenter homered three-run right for a 4-1 lead.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora said before the game that he would push Pivetta back into the rotation after the All-Star break to give him a break. His 108 innings pitched lead the team by more than 30 frames, raising concerns about his workload.

“He wrestled the last three or four, right?” Cora said. “It looked like his command wasn’t there like it was when he started, and now hopefully he gets a break, resets and is ready for his first after the All-Star break.”

WHAT DID HE DO ?

Boston center outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. sprinted for the wall into the left center spread and caught a field goal over his left shoulder on DJ LeMahieu’s drive in the top of the first inning.

IF YOU ARE CURIOUS…

Barry Bonds holds the major league record with 39 home runs before the All-Star break in 2001 en route to the single-season mark of 73.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: 2B Trevor Story (bruised right hand) was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Thursday. … C Connor Wong has been recalled from Triple-A Worcester.

Yankees: RHP Miguel Castro was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right shoulder. He should not resume throwing for a month. … OF Tim Locastro was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … RHP Luis Severino (lat. right) is expected to take two weeks off.

NEXT

Red Sox LHP Chris Sale (0-0, 0.00 ERA) faces Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole (8-2, 3.05) on Sunday in his second start of the season after being sidelined with a broken rib. Sale pitched five scoreless innings against the Rays in his season debut on Tuesday night. Cole pitched seven shutout innings with 11 strikeouts against Cincinnati in a 4-3 loss Tuesday.

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Naomi C. Amerson