NEW YORK -- The Yankees sent 10 men to the plate against Orioles starter Chris Tillman in the first inning of Saturday's 16-3 win over the Orioles, and as usual, no one hit the ball harder than Aaron Judge, who set a Statcast™-era record with a solo home run that
NEW YORK -- The Yankees sent 10 men to the plate against Orioles starter Chris Tillman in the first inning of Saturday's 16-3 win over the Orioles, and as usual, no one hit the ball harder than Aaron Judge, who set a Statcast™-era record with a solo home run that left his bat at 121.1 mph.
Judge barreled his Major League-leading 19th homer inside the left-field foul pole off Tillman, accounting for the first of six runs the Yankees scored in the first inning. The homer traveled a Statcast™-projected 382 feet, with a launch angle of 25 degrees.
"We're just not missing our pitch," Judge said. "We're battling, we're getting deep into counts and when they leave something over the middle, we're depositing it and doing some damage. When the team is doing that up and down the lineup, good things will happen."
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New York hit five home runs off Baltimore pitching in all, three of them off Tillman, who surrendered nine runs and was knocked out after just 1 1/3 innings. Didi Gregorius smashed a two-run shot in the first inning, and Starlin Castro chased Tillman with a three-run shot in the second (estimated at 452 feet, his longest in the Statcast™ era).
"That's a good team," Tillman said. "They put a lot of good swings on lots of bad pitches."
Matthew Holliday added a three-run homer in the fourth off reliever Stefan Crichton.
Judge was impressed by Sanchez's two-run shot in the eighth off Mike Wright, a heat-seeking missile that registered the lowest launch angle (15 degrees) of any homer in the Majors this season.
"It's incredible," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "There's a lot of power in this lineup. We can score quickly, and we can score in bunches. It's nice to have."
After the win, Judge's teammates were still talking about the first blast. Not only was it the hardest-hit homer since Statcast™ began tracking such posts, but the laser was also the hardest-hit base hit since the technology was implemented, surpassing a 120.3-mph single by the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton on May 12, 2015.
"If it was 121, I'm sure he can hit it 122 or 123. He has a lot of power," Sanchez said. "That home run I hit, I hit pretty good. I think it was like [115.1]. I don't think I can go beyond that."
Judge now owns the four hardest-hit balls measured by Statcast™ this season. He is also the American League's top vote-getter through two checkpoints of All-Star balloting, trailing only Bryce Harper of the Nationals MLB-wide, and he has become the most prominent threat in what is proving to be a lethal lineup.
"There's not a hole. Up and down, in the leadoff spot, you've got guys that can hit homers," Judge said. "[Brett Gardner] has been leading off the game with homers a couple of times this year.
"We've got the guy who [last season] led the National League in homers [Chris Carter] batting ninth. You just don't see that. It just shows you what kind of team we've got. Guys can steal bases, run the bases well, power guys. It's a fun lineup to be a part of."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.