Yankees’ offense awakens in 5-3 win over Tigers, but Aaron Judge gets ejected

NEW YORK — On “Star Wars” day at Yankee Stadium, Clarke Schmidt was a force.

The Yankees’ offense awakened.

And even as Aaron Judge was ejected for the first time in his career, the Yankees more closely resembled a fully operational Death Star in a 5-3 win over the Detroit Tigers.

Giancarlo Stanton, Judge and Anthony Rizzo — all heroes in Friday’s come-from-behind victory — each delivered RBI hits in Saturday’s win, which marked the first time in six games the Yankees scored more than two runs.

Judge’s 2-for-4 day accounted for his first multi-hit performance in six games, but his afternoon ended in the seventh inning when home-plate umpire Ryan Blakney tossed him for taking issue with a called third strike.

Judge said something to Blakney over a 3-2 pitch from reliever Tylor Horton that appeared to be off the plate. He was headed back to the Yankees dugout when the umpire kicked him out of the game.

The unprecedented ejection cast a shadow over a day otherwise highlighted by a three-run home run from Rizzo, which capped a four-run third inning against Tigers starter Casey Mize.

Schmidt, meanwhile, matched his season high with seven strikeouts over five innings, limiting upstart Detroit to three runs on four hits. Armed with a sharp cutter and put-away knuckle curve, Schmidt recorded three swinging strikeouts during a dominant 1-2-3 third inning and improved to 3-1 with a 3.50 ERA this season.

The Yankees leaned into the unofficial holiday of May 4 — or “May the Fourth be with you” — with a “Star Wars”-themed afternoon.

They featured characters including Darth Vader, Chewbacca and R2-D2 during a pregame parade. They referred to Juan Soto as “Juan Solo” on the jumbotron.

And they handed out bobbleheads depicting Gerrit Cole as a Jedi. Coincidentally, Cole threw off of a mound Saturday for the first time since being shut down during spring training with inflammation and edema in his right elbow.

For the second start in a row, Schmidt surrendered a home run to the first batter he faced, this time serving up a 360-foot shot to Detroit’s Riley Greene.

But the Yankees struck back.

Stanton’s RBI single in the bottom of the first marked the Yankees’ third consecutive two-out hit and knotted the game, 1-1. Judge broke that tie with an RBI double two innings later, then scored on Rizzo’s 411-foot blast, which caromed off the second deck in the right-field stands.

Saturday’s scoring served as a continuation of Friday night’s ninth inning, during which the Yankees erased a 1-0 deficit with four consecutive hits against tough Tigers closer Jason Foley to win, 2-1. Judge kicked off the comeback with a leadoff single, while Stanton muscled a game-tying double and Rizzo capped the rally with a walk-off single.

The Yankees (22-13) have now won two in a row at home following a rough four-game series in Baltimore, where they suffered three losses and totaled only six runs.

They seek to finish off a three-game sweep Sunday afternoon, but it won’t come easy. Red-hot Tigers ace Tarik Skubal (4-0, 1.72 ERA) is set to pitch for Detroit, while Nestor Cortes (1-3, 3.86 ERA) is slated to start for the Yankees.