Aaron Judge ties Derek Jeter on Yankees HR list, but Bombers lose to Cleveland as infield defense falters in extras

A milestone home run by Aaron Judge and late-game hitting heroics from Anthony Volpe weren’t enough for the Yankees to finish off a three-game sweep in Cleveland.

The Yankees’ infield failed to make multiple critical plays Sunday during the Guardians’ three-run 10th-inning rally, which proved to be the difference in Cleveland’s 8-7 win.

Anthony Rizzo’s two-run double in the top of the 10th gave the Yankees a 7-5 lead, but the shortstop Volpe bobbled the transfer on a potential double-play ball in the bottom of the inning as Cleveland cut the deficit to one.

The Guardians then tied the game when, with the infield in, second baseman Gleyber Torres couldn’t cleanly corral a ground ball. An Andres Giminez sacrifice fly against Yankees reliever Caleb Ferguson ended up being the game-winner.

“We’re out there, obviously, working all the time to make those types of plays, so you definitely take it on the chin when you’re not able to,” Volpe said afterward.

The uneven inning concluded a roller-coaster game in which the Yankees and Guardians traded blows throughout.

Judge got the scoring started with a three-run home run off of Logan Allen in the third inning, marking the 260th homer of his career and tying him with his Yankees captain predecessor, Derek Jeter, for ninth place on the franchise’s all-time list.

Cleveland’s Estevan Florial – a former top Yankees prospect – later broke a 4-4 tie with a pinch-hit solo home run off Luke Weaver in the bottom of the eighth.

The Yankees were down to their final out when Volpe struck an opposite-field RBI double off a 100-mph cutter from All-Star closer Emmanuel Clase to tie the game and force extra innings. Volpe went 3-for-4 Sunday and is tied for the American League lead with a .382 average.

“Any (game) you lose is a tough one, but guys were fighting until the end,” Judge said. “We just weren’t able to pull this one out.”

Now in his eighth season with the Yankees, the 31-year-old Judge continues to make home run history. His 62 homers in 2022 remain an AL single-season season record. He is now 15 home runs behind Jorge Posada’s 275 for eighth place on the Yankees’ all-time list, and 27 away from Bernie Williams’ 287 for seventh place.

Judge is in his second season as the Yankees’ captain. He is the team’s first captain since Jeter, who held the title from 2003 until his retirement in 2014.

Sunday’s home run was the third of the year for Judge, who is heating up after a slow start. Judge entered the series hitting .178 but went 4-for-13 over the three games in Cleveland to boost his average to .207.

After shutting out the Marlins for eight innings in his previous start, Yankees starter Nestor Cortes allowed four runs in four innings Sunday.

The Yankees (12-4) and Guardians (10-5) boast the two best records in the AL, just as they did when their series began.

“They just outlasted us a little bit,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Sunday’s loss.

Following a rainout on Friday, the Yankees swept a split doubleheader on Saturday. The Yankees are now 8-2 on the road this season – a record they’ll attempt to improve upon during a three-game set in Toronto beginning Monday night.