ST. PETERSBURG — The campaign has begun. With Jose Trevino’s home run in the eighth inning Wednesday night to give the Yankees a 5-4 win over the Rays at Tropicana Field, Aaron Boone and Aaron Judge were beating the drums. Trevino should be one of the Yankees’ many stars.
“Ah, without a doubt. What he’s doing this year is special,” said Judge, whose two home runs also powered the Yankees on Wednesday. “I think he’s going to keep doing that for quite a few years and I think he’s deserved the right so far to go to Los Angeles this year and represent the Yankees and represent the elite. “
“I know there are a lot of great receivers in the league, and especially the one we just faced, Alejandro Kirk of the Blue Jays is another great in this league,” Judge continued, “but I think he definitely [has] was offered this opportunity and he takes full advantage of it.
The Yankees (51-18) are now 14-4 after losses this season, won their 18th series of the season and their second in a row against the Rays (37-32). They are 26-12 against the American League East. They have the best record in baseball and finished the six-game road trip 4-2.
The judge, who has an arbitration hearing to decide his 2022 salary via zoom Friday morning, brought the Yankees to the point that Trevino could be the difference maker. He hit his 26th and 27th major league homers on Wednesday night.
It was his sixth multi-home run game of the season and the 22nd of his career. The six multi-home runs in the team’s first 70 games are the second in baseball history, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Only Reggie Jackson’s 1969 sevens are better.
The judge’s first homer was a 396-foot shot by Shane Baz in the fourth inning. His second was a majestic 406-foot home run off The Trop’s podium in the seventh, cutting the Rays’ lead to one run.
The arbitration hearing represents a difference of more than $4 million. The judge wanted $21 million, the Yankees offered $17 million. The Bombers offered Judge an extension that would have been worth more than $230 million including this season, but they couldn’t reach a deal by his opening day TSWT.
The Trevino circuit was clutch.
It was his third home run in the eighth inning or later this season, tying him with Anthony Rizzo for the most on the team. The two-point, 406-foot shot gave the Yankees their first lead of the night and their 20th comeback victory of the season.
It was Trevino’s sixth career homer in 113 at-bats this season, one more than his total of 285 at-bats all last year.
It’s not just his offense.
Trevino has been key to the Yankees’ pitching success this season. On Wednesday night, he pulled out a crushing Jordan Montgomery from a goal-laden block by pulling out Taylor Walls at third base.
“That choice really helped me,” Montgomery said. “He was awesome. Excellent behind the plate, great work with him and offensively he always comes out big.
Montgomery just wasn’t sharp from the start, but due to concerns about their use of the bullpen, they had to roll with him for as long as they could. The Yankees left-hander allowed a season-high four runs, going on a 13-game starting streak of three earned runs or less. He allowed two home runs, the first time he allowed multiple homers in a game this season. He walked two and pulled off a season tie with two.
Montgomery had seven misses, four on his substitution and none on his fastball.
“I think he made some good shots tonight. We had a little bad luck but I just tried to help me and [third baseman Josh Donaldson] and we did it,” Trevino said. “So that was good.”
An All-Star nod would be Trevino’s first. In the first All-Star voting report, Trevino is second, but well behind Kirk.
“I mean, if it happens, it happens,” Trevino said of being an All-Star. “I want to win a championship and it’s quite individual. An all-star game that would be really cool, but I want to win a championship.