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Aaron Judge leads Yanks to win over Giants in opener

Aaron Judge homered in his first at-bat, Gerrit Cole struck out 11 in six sharp innings and the host New York Yankees beat the San Francisco Giants 5-0 Thursday afternoon on Opening Day.

After hitting an AL-record 62 home runs last season to break Roger Maris’ record, Judge homered against the team he grew up rooting for and the team who courted him in free agency.

In his first appearance since signing a nine-year, $360 million contract, Judge lifted an 0-1 sinker from Logan Webb (0-1) over the center field fence atop the netting above Monument Park. The 422-foot drive was Judge’s first career Opening Day homer. In his fourth straight Opening Day start, Cole (1-0) allowed three hits and surpassed Tim Leary (1991) for the team strikeout record in a season opener. Cole struck out the side in the first and second while putting a runner on in each inning. He reached double-digit strikeouts by fanning Mike Yastrzemski for the second time in the fourth.

Cole ended his outing by fanning Joc Pederson for the third time on a 98-mph fastball to end the sixth after Wilmer Flores hit into a double play. Gleyber Torres added a two-run homer in the fourth while starting at designated hitter as the Yankees won a season opener for the fifth time in six seasons under manager Aaron Boone. DJ LeMahieu and Judge added RBI singles in the seventh for the Yankees, who struck out 16 times in a game that lasted two hours, 33 minutes. Judge finished 2-for-4.

New York rookie Anthony Volpe was 0-for-2 with a walk and stolen base. He also started the double play that preceded Cole’s final strikeout. Playing a season opener in New York for the first time since hosting the Pittsburgh Pirates at Manhattan’s Polo Grounds in 1956, the Giants struck out 16 times in their first visit to Yankee Stadium since July 2016. Webb allowed four runs on four hits in six-plus innings. He struck out a career-high 12 hitters. Thairo Estrada went 2-for-4, accounting for half of the Giants’ hits. –Field Level Media


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