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Yankees’ Aaron Judge makes more HR history, wins AL Player of the Week again

Aaron Judge continues to make home run history.

With three more long balls against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Yankees slugger finished the weekend with 281 home runs in his nine-season MLB career.

Those are the most ever for a player through his first 1,000 games, passing Ryan Howard, who hit 279, according to MLB stats maven Sarah Langs.

Making the historic feat even more impressive is that Sunday was Judge’s 902nd career game, meaning he needed nearly 100 fewer games than Howard to eclipse him. Judge won’t play in his 1,000th regular-season game until 2025 at the earliest.

Eye-popping stats are nothing new for Judge, who went 10-for-20 with those three homers, three doubles and 12 RBI over his six games from June 3-9. That was enough for Judge to win American League Player of the Week, the league announced Monday, in what was his second time receiving the honor in three weeks.

Judge’s 24 home runs through Sunday led all MLB hitters this season, as did his .436 on-base percentage, his .703 slugging percentage and his 1.139 OPS.

For reference, Judge posted a .425 on-base percentage, a .686 slugging percentage and a 1.111 OPS during his MVP campaign in 2022, when he hit an AL single-season record 62 home runs.

Through Sunday, Judge had slashed .399/.520/.957 over his last 40 games, hitting 20 home runs, 15 doubles and a triple during that stretch.

Now in the second season of a nine-year, $360 million contract, Judge also won AL Player of the Month honors in May after slashing .361/.479/.918 and hitting 14 home runs in 28 games.

The scorching surge follows a slow start to the season for Judge, who hit .197 with six home runs through May 2.

After going 3-for-4 in Sunday’s 6-4 victory over Los Angeles, Judge’s average sat at a season-best .305.

“It’s a game of averages, so it’s gonna go up, it’s gonna go down,” Judge said Sunday. “You can’t sit there and look at it, because if I sat there and looked at what it was in April, then I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at today.”

Primarily the Yankees’ No. 2 hitter for most of his career, Judge moved to the third spot in the batting order after the offseason arrival of Juan Soto. Soto’s .424 on-base percentage and 1.027 OPS both ranked second in the majors behind Judge entering this week’s four-game series in Kansas City.

Hitting behind Soto, as well as leadoff hitter Anthony Volpe — whose streak of reaching base in 34 consecutive games ended Sunday — has meant plenty of plate appearances with runners on base for Judge.

Judge, 32, is the first player in MLB history with at least 24 home runs and 21 doubles through his team’s first 67 games. He’s the third Yankee with 46 extra-base hits through the team’s first 67 games, following Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, who achieved the milestone twice apiece.

Judge’s 21 doubles through Sunday led the AL and ranked second in the majors behind Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm’s 23. As of Sunday, he had gotten on base in 35 consecutive games, including nine in a row in which he reached multiple times.

“We’ve got to keep improving, got to keep making adjustments, and honestly the biggest thing is [to] just keep getting on base,” Judge said Sunday. “Keep getting on base, driving guys in.”


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