Judge hits MLB-leading 31st home run and Cole gets 1st win of season as Yankees rout Blue Jays 8-1

TORONTO (AP) — Aaron Judge hit his major league-leading 31st home run, Gerrit Cole pitched five innings for his first win of the season and the New York Yankees beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-1 on Sunday to split their four-game series.

Juan Soto was a late addition to New York’s lineup after sitting out Saturday’s loss because of a bruised right hand. The three-time All-Star and 2020 NL batting champion went 1 for 3 with an RBI and two walks.

DJ LeMahieu and Trent Grisham each had two hits and two RBIs for the Yankees. Ben Rice scored twice and drove in a run.

Judge hit .409 in June with 11 homers and 37 RBIs.

“It’s just kind of head and shoulders above anything we’re seeing,” New York manager Aaron Boone said. “What him and Juan are doing is hard to wrap your head around, especially in this hitting climate.”

Gleyber Torres went 2 for 5, his third straight multihit game since a two-game benching last week.

New York finished a 2-4 trip that started with two losses in Queens against the Mets.

Cole (1-1) started the first of those interleague defeats, allowing six earned runs in four innings. He bounced back against the Blue Jays, permitting one run and three hits — all singles.

“Another big step,” Boone said. “I thought his energy and mound presence was excellent. That was Gerrit Cole out there today.”

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner struck out one and walked six. He threw a season-high 90 pitches, 61 for strikes, in his third start this year since returning from an elbow injury.

“I thought it was a good blend of stuff and command,” Cole said. “I pitched pretty smart for the most part. It was a good day.”

Michael Tonkin got five outs, Tim Hill retired all four batters he faced and Josh Maciejewski finished for New York.

Soto singled off Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman in the first and scored when Judge sent a 423-foot drive to center.

“That was a shot in the arm,” Boone said.

It was Judge’s fifth career homer off Gausman, his most against any opposing pitcher.

“Whenever you give a guy like Gerrit a couple of runs, it makes for a pretty good outing for him,” Judge said.

With the 288th home run of his career, Judge broke a tie with Bernie Williams for seventh place in Yankees history.

Gausman (6-7) allowed a season-worst seven earned runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked a season-high five and struck out seven. The right-hander has lost three of his past four starts.

“They had a good game plan against me and there was a tight strike zone, too,” Gausman said. “I don’t think that helped me at all.”

Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier took a home run away from Alex Verdugo in the eighth, leaping above the center-field wall to make a spectacular catch.

Verdugo was called out on a two-strike pitch clock violation to end the fourth, stranding two.


New York selected Maciejewski’s contract from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and designated RHP Phil Bickford for assignment.


The Blue Jays acquired RHP Yerry Rodríguez from Texas for minor league RHP Josh Mollerus. Toronto assigned Rodríguez to Triple-A Buffalo.


New York transferred the rehab assignment of RHP JT Brubaker (elbow surgery) from the rookie-level Florida Complex League to Double-A Somerset.


Yankees: Rookie RHP Luis Gil (9-3, 3.15 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday at home against Cincinnati RHP Graham Ashcraft (4-4, 5.45) in the opener of a three-game series.

Blue Jays: RHP Yariel Rodríguez (0-2, 5.94 ERA) starts Monday afternoon in a Canada Day matinee against Houston RHP Hunter Brown (5-5, 4.37).