1 of 5 | New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge hits his 60th home run of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium in New York. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Aaron Judge climbed up the single-season home run record book, smacking his 60th of 2022, tying a Babe Ruth record and sparking a New York Yankees comeback win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Judge rotated his wrist, smashed his bat into the sinker and obliterated the offering for a 430-foot solo homer in the ninth inning of the 9-8 victory Tuesday at Yankee Stadium in New York.
"You talk about Ruth and Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle and all of these Yankees greats, that did so many great things in this game, you never imagine as a kid getting mentioned with them It's an incredible honor and something I don't take lightly," Judge told reporters.
"But, we're not done."
The longball gave Judge the same home run total Ruth reached in the 1927 season for the Yankees. He now eyes Maris' single-season Yankees record of 61, which he set in 1961.
Former Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa hit 63 home runs in 1999 and 64 in 2001. St. Louis Cardinals legend Mark McGwire hit 65 in 1999. San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds set the single season record in 2001 with 73. McGwire and Sosa rank second and third on the list for the respective 70 and 66 home runs they hit during their 1998 home run battle.
Judge's ninth-inning solo shot cut the Yankees' deficit to 8-5. Designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton hit a walk-off grand slam in the same inning to cap the Yankees rally.
The Yankees held a 2-1 lead after five innings. Pirates catcher Jason Delay hit a two-run double for a 3-2 edge in the top of the sixth. Yankees center fielder Harrison Bader hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the bottom of the sixth.
Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds tied the game with a solo homer in the top of the seventh. The Pirates drove in four runs in the top of the eighth before the Yankees' final-inning rally.
Reynolds went 4 for 5 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the loss.
Judge went 1 for 4 with an RBI, a walk, a run scored and a strikeout. He is now hitting an American League best .316 with an MLB-best 128 RBIs and 123 runs scored, in addition to his 60 long balls.
The Yankees (89-58) will host the Pirates (55-93) in the final game of the series at 7:05 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge hits his 62nd home run of the season in the first inning, breaking the American League record and the record held by Roger Maris during game 2 of a double header against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on October 4, 2022. Photo by Matt Pearce/UPI | License Photo