Oswaldo Cabrera hits first career grand slam and Gleyber Torres hits two homers in same inning in 14-2 win over Pirates, Judge still at 60 HR


Aaron Judge had two hard-hit doubles that led to him scoring two runs Wednesday night and the packed house at Yankee Stadium just groaned.

The Yankees’ slugger is still sitting one home run shy of reaching Roger Maris’ record of 61, but he didn’t mind. The Bombers got two homers from Gleyber Torres in one inning, a grand slam from Oswaldo Cabrera and perhaps most importantly, a very encouraging return by Luis Severino as the Yankees routed the Pirates 14-2 in the Bronx.

“I think on the second double I didn’t know if it was foul or what, I didn’t hear any cheering,” said Judge who pulled up when he heard the groans as he rounded first on the ground rule double. “I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know if it was a foul ball or not.

“The fans packed the house to see us win a ball game and see some homers so I think I gotta cut out this double stuff.”

Judge went 2-for-4 Wednesday with a walk and a strikeout, but it was all the Yankees (90-58) needed to win their third straight game and drop the magic number to clinch a playoff spot to two. The Bombers have won seven of their last nine games and 11 of 15.

Torres started an eight-run eighth inning with his 22nd homer of the season and then hit his 23rd in the same frame. Cabrera hit his first career grand slam in the first inning, just his third career home run, to set the tone — and impress Judge.

“What a competitor, every single day in and day out, doesn’t matter the score, the situation, he’s up there giving us great at-bats,” Judge said of the versatile rookie, who made his second career start at left field. “He’s giving us a chance you know, when he’s playing right field, left field, shortstop, a little bit of first base. Just having that versatility with him has been, I think, is big time for our success.”

The Yankees have hit a major-league leading and team record 10 grand slams this season, including four against the lowly Pirates’ pitchers.

Perhaps the biggest development on Wednesday was that Yankees got some reassurance about their own pitching with Severino’s first start since July 13. The righty looked really sharp holding the Pirates to a run on two hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out six.

“That’s big time, especially with Frankie [Montas] going down, he was a big part of our rotation,” Judge said of Severino’s return. “But getting back is another big part of our rotation. What I liked, what I saw tonight is him putting up there 97-98 [miles an hour of velocity] working on his off speed pitches and attacking. He’s a bulldog on the mound and you know he’s gonna be definitely a big piece down the stretch.”

Severino returned just a day after the team found out Montas would be shut down for at least 10 days and not knowing his status for the rest of the season. The Bombers acquired Montas specifically for his success against the Rays and Astros and with the idea he would be their No. 2 starter behind Gerrit Cole in a playoff series.

Montas has struggled since the Yankees acquired him from Oakland and now that he is shut down with the same shoulder inflammation that sidelined him with the A’s for over two weeks, it is fair to wonder if he was ever healthy. He certainly has not proven himself a No. 2 starter with a 6.35 ERA in eight starts with the Bombers.

But Severino has certainly shown he can be a weapon down the stretch.

It’s been three long years of serious injuries since Severino was an All-Star in 2018, but he has returned from the 2020 Tommy John surgery stronger, with good stuff and the same bulldog mentality that had him speaking his mind against the team in July.

Severino missed all of the 2020 season due to his elbow surgery. After appearing in just seven games combined in 2019 and 2021 due to his surgery and lat strain, Severino pitched to a 3.45 ERA in his first 16 starts this season. He struck out 95 batters over 86.1 innings pitched.

“I was happy my velocity was there and I think the best two pitches I threw tonight were the two base hits,” Severino said. “So I was really happy with my night.”



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