Recapping Dodgers-Yankees battle in the Bronx

June 10th, 2024

NEW YORK -- It was a highly anticipated matchup of coastal superpowers, even a potential World Series preview. And after three weekend games between the Dodgers at Yankees in the Bronx, we were left wanting more.

The series opener gave us an instant classic and Aaron Judge smashed three home runs over the final two games of the set, upping his MLB-leading total to 24. But the slugger who made the biggest difference in this series was Teoscar Hernández -- the Dodgers’ right fielder belted three homers of his own, including two on Saturday, when he posted a career high with six RBIs.

The Yankees salvaged the series finale on Sunday night, with the Bronx Bombers launching a trio of homers -- solo shots from Judge and Oswaldo Cabrera, as well as a three-run blast off the bat of Trent Grisham.

Even with the two losses over the weekend, the Yankees own the best record in the American League at 46-21. They're led by their captain, Judge, whose 24 home runs are the most in MLB, and whose 1.139 OPS is the best in MLB. Juan Soto -- who missed the series due to left forearm inflammation -- is second in the AL with a .318 batting average and second in the Majors with a .424 on-base percentage.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, are in first place in the National League West once again at 41-26. They're the reigning division champions, and they are looking for their 11th NL West title in the last 12 seasons. They have a trio of MVPs in Shohei Ohtani, who is batting .310 with 15 home runs and a .947 OPS, Mookie Betts, who's batting .309 with 10 homers and a .914 OPS, and Freddie Freeman, who's batting .290 with eight homers and an .879 OPS.

When the Yankees and Dodgers clashed last season at Dodger Stadium, the Yankees took two of the three games. Until Friday night, the two teams hadn’t faced off at Yankee Stadium since 2016; the Dodgers took two of three in that series. With Sunday’s Yankees win, the two clubs have each won 11 games against one another since they first met in regular-season Interleague play in 2004.

Of course, there are also the 11 World Series meetings between the longtime rivals, of which the Yankees have won eight. Will this series in New York be a preview of No. 12 in 2024?

Here are the game-by-game results from this weekend’s showdown in the Bronx:

Friday -- Dodgers 2, Yankees 1 (11 innings)

Yamamoto was brilliant over seven scoreless innings, but the Yankees, between Poteet’s start and a stellar effort by the bullpen, matched the Dodgers on the scoreboard with zeroes until the fateful 11th inning. That’s when Hernández came through with a two-run double to left-center field off Yankees reliever Ian Hamilton.

The Yanks got one back thanks to an RBI single from Aaron Judge in the bottom of the 11th, but Yohan Ramírez struck out Giancarlo Stanton and got Anthony Rizzo to pop-out in foul territory to end a thriller of a Game 1.

Saturday -- Dodgers 11, Yankees 3

Following Friday’s scoreless battle into extra innings, the Dodgers scored more than enough runs to back starter Gavin Stone in a rout of New York on Saturday. This was the “Teoscar Hernández Game,” with the outfielder smashing a pair of homers, including an eighth-inning grand slam that broke it open. His six RBIs in the contest set a new career high.

Judge launched his MLB-leading 22nd and 23rd home runs of the season -- a solo shot in the 3rd inning and another in the 9th, but for the second consecutive night, the Yanks’ lineup was mostly quiet without Soto.

Sunday -- Yankees 6, Dodgers 4

Following two games over which they scored a combined four runs without their spark plug, Soto, the Yanks finally broke through in the series finale with homers from Judge, Cabrera and Grisham.

While sensational rookie right-hander Luis Gil wasn’t at his sharpest, giving up three runs on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings, that was enough on this night to avoid a Dodgers sweep thanks to a revived lineup.