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Judge hits 3 home runs, becomes first Yankees player to do it twice in one season

NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Judge became the first New York Yankees player to hit three home runs in a game twice in one season when he connected in the seventh inning Friday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Judge hit a three-run homer in the third and a two-run shot in the fifth off rookie starter Brandon Pfaadt. The slugger added his third homer of the night by reaching the second deck in right field with a solo drive off Slade Cecconi.

After rounding the bases, the reigning AL MVP took a curtain call from the Yankee Stadium crowd as teammate Gleyber Torres stepped out of the batter's box.

Judge also doubled during his second career three-homer game — both coming within the past month. He also went deep three times Aug. 23 at home against Washington to help the Yankees stop their first nine-game losing streak since 1982.

Judge’s first homer gave New York a 3-0 lead. Two batters after Pfaadt committed an error by misplaying Oswald Peraza’s soft comebacker, Judge lifted a first-pitch sinker into the Yankees' bullpen in right-center.

His two-run drive to right-center in the fifth made it 6-0.

Judge is hitting .267 with 35 homers and 70 RBIs in 100 games this season. He missed nearly eight weeks after spraining his right big toe on June 3 at Dodger Stadium. He returned to the lineup July 28.

The five-time All-Star hit 62 home runs last season, breaking the previous American League record of 61 set by former Yankees slugger Roger Maris in 1961.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB

Larry Fleisher, The Associated Press