SEATTLE – Aaron Judge became the third-fastest player in baseball history to reach 100 home runs, Masahiro Tanaka threw seven sharp innings and outpitched Yusei Kikuchi in a showdown of Japanese starters, and the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 7-0 on Tuesday night.
Judge joined elite company on the first pitch he saw from Kikuchi, hitting a two-run homer off the batter’s eye in center field in the first inning. Judge reached the 100-homer mark in his 371st game. Only Ryan Howard (325) and Yankees teammate Gary Sanchez (355) got to 100 faster. It was Judge’s 17th homer of the season after homering in all three games at Dodger Stadium last weekend.
Brett Gardner added a three-run homer off Kikuchi and was more than enough offense on a night Tanaka was dominant.
With plenty of attention back home in Japan, the 16th all-time matchup between Japanese starting pitchers in the majors ended up being one-sided. Tanaka didn’t give up a hit until Kyle Seager’s double leading off the fifth inning. Kikuchi was done after only four innings, five runs allowed and nearly 100 pitches.
Tanaka (10-7) won for the third time in his past four decisions, allowing just three hits. He struck out seven and Seager was the only baserunner to reach third base. Tanaka stayed down in the strike zone and Seattle had eight groundball outs.
Seattle was hopeful of seeing another brilliant performance from its young left-hander after throwing a two-hitter in his last start on Aug. 18 against the Blue Jays. But the decision to skip his last turn in the rotation and give Kikuchi extra rest didn’t yield the desired result.
Kikuchi (5-9) was hit hard from the start. Judge’s homer was the highlight of the first, but Mike Ford continued his hot streak with a long double in the second before Kikuchi was knocked around for four hits in the third, including Gardner’s 18th home run.
Kikuchi threw 96 pitches in his complete game against Toronto. He threw 95 to complete four innings against the Yankees.
M’s Broxton suspended 2 games
Seattle right fielder Keon Broxton has been suspended for two games by Major League Baseball for throwing a batting glove that hit an umpire after striking out looking.
MLB handed down the suspension and undisclosed fine a day after the 29-year-old Broxton was ejected for the first time in his career.
Broxton threw his bat down, flipped his helmet off and threw one of his batting gloves behind him after a disputed third-strike call in the second inning of Monday night’s 5-4 loss to the Yankees. The batting glove sailed right toward plate umpire Manny Gonzalez.
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