Yankees takeaways from Thursday’s 13-12 loss to Phillies, including Aaron Judge’s first home run of spring training

Aaron Judge celebrates after home run Phillies 325

Aaron Judge celebrates after home run Phillies 325

Yankees RF Aaron Judge blasted his first home run of spring training but RHP Michael King struggled Thursday as New York lost a 13-12 game against the Philadelphia Phillies at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Fla.

Five things to know from Thursday’s game

1. Judge’s homer drought is over. With a 1-2 count and none out in the top of the first inning, after a leadoff single to left field by DJ LeMahieu, Judge crushed Phillies LHP Matt Moore‘s 12th pitch. Moore’s 93-mph fastball fell flat over the middle of the plate and Judge deposited a 440-foot bomb out to left field.

The two-run blast left the ballpark and put the Yanks up 2-0, headlining a 1-for-2 day at the plate for Judge, who worked a fourth-inning walk before going down on a sixth-inning strikeout looking.

2. King was unable to pitch with an early lead, starting in the bottom half of the first inning and working into a five-run frame. After King leadoff batter Andrew McCutchen, J.T. Realmuto doubled and Bryce Harper walked. With the bases loaded, King hit Rhys Hoskins and McCutchen scored.

Alec Brohm grounded into a fielder’s choice at second base, and Realmuto scored on the play. Up next, with runners on the corners, King left a 94-mph fastball over the plate and Didi Gregorius clubbed a three-run homer that just cleared the right-field fence and gave the Phillies a 5-2 lead. In 2 1/3 innings, King surrendered five runs on seven hits (one homer) while striking out two, walking two and hitting three.

3. Following a two-run bottom of the second inning, putting the Yankees in a 7-2 hole, SS Gleyber Torres gave New York a jolt. Still facing Moore, Torres did his best Judge impersonation as he turned a 90-mph cutter over the plate into a three-run shot to left field — a 428-foot blast.

The home run cleared the left-field Frenchy’s bar and appeared to also leave the ballpark, giving the Yankees a pulse again while the Phillies clung to a 7-5 edge. Torres, who worked walks in the first and fifth innings before a seventh-inning strikeout looking, finished 1 for 2. Torres is up to three long balls this spring.

4. RHP Jonathan Loaisiga gave the Yankees a strong fourth, fifth and sixth inning of middle relief. Loaisiga entered in the fourth inning and recorded a leadoff strikeout swinging against Harper before getting Hoskins to ground out and fanning Ronald Torreyes looking.

After a fifth inning of three straight groundouts, the sixth frame saw Loaisiga surrender a two-out single to Realmuto. Harper drove the run home on a double to right field, giving the Phillies an 8-6 edge.

Loaisiga responded on the next batter, though, a Hoskins flyout to center field. In three innings, Loaisiga yielded one run on two hits while striking out two and walking none.

5. LeMahieu was the Yankees’ only multi-hit batter, his third of spring training. He went 2 for 3 with a second-inning single, fourth-inning lineout and sixth-inning walk.


What’s next

The Yankees (13-9) return to George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Friday for a 6:35 p.m. game against the Orioles (9-14). New York ace RHP Gerrit Cole (3-0, 3.55 ERA) and Baltimore RHP Jorge Lopez (0-1, 3.68 ERA) are projected to start.

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