Jesus Aguilar powers Brewers to comeback win over Yankees
NEW YORK -- On a night when Aaron Judge broke a New York Yankees record held by Joe DiMaggio for eight decades, it was Jesus Aguilar who put on the most impressive rookie power show.
Aguilar homered twice and matched a Brewers mark with seven RBIs, including a tiebreaking grand slam in the seventh inning that sent Milwaukee past the skidding Yankees 9-4 on Friday for its fifth straight victory.
"He's a rookie doing this. But it feels like an experienced at-bat," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's a very mature hitter."
The surprising NL Central leaders overcame a season-high five errors, all in the first four innings, to win at Yankee Stadium for the first time in exactly 21 years. Back then, the Brewers were still in the American League -- they switched to the NL in 1998 and had dropped 14 of their last 15 in the Bronx, including a 10-game losing streak they snapped in this interleague series opener.
Ryan Braun is the lone player remaining from Milwaukee's previous visit in June 2011, but the young Brewers (49-40) hardly looked intimidated while winning for the eighth time in nine games. They've won five in a row for the first time since completing a six-game run in September 2015, and are nine games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 1, 2014.
Rookie left-hander Josh Hader (1-0) struck out seven over three innings of effective relief for his first major league win. Hader replaced dinged-up starter Junior Guerra following a 51-minute rain delay in the fourth.
"Josh did a heck of a job. We've been saving Josh for the right spot and today we really got in the right spot with him," Counsell said.
Milwaukee finished with 14 hits to four for the Yankees, who have dropped three straight. They are 6-17 since pushing their record to 38-23 on June 12.
The highlight for New York was Judge's major league-leading 30th home run, which topped DiMaggio's mark for most by a Yankees rookie set in 1936.
"It's quite an honor. It's been a fun first half so far," said Judge, determined to stay modest. "I've got it in my notes: I look at it every day -- .179, what I hit last year. So it's just a reminder that this game will humble you quick."
Struggling reliever Tyler Clippard (1-5) served up Aguilar's first career slam on a full-count fastball. That gave Milwaukee an 8-4 advantage, and Clippard was booed off the mound by a crowd of 43,472 that had thinned dramatically by the time the 3-hour, 57-minute game ended 2 minutes before midnight.
"I feel very good about where I am at on the mound right now," Clippard said. "I feel like my stuff is there. It's just frustrating."
Milwaukee tied it 4-all in the sixth as Clippard allowed two inherited runners to score, including one on a wild pitch with an 0-2 count.
Aguilar, who arrived early to check out Monument Park, drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. The rookie first baseman also hit a two-run shot in the fourth off starter Jordan Montgomery during his first career multihomer game.
"Just looking for a pitch to drive," Aguilar said through a translator. "I'm just seeing the ball, hitting it."
New first baseman Ji-Man Choi had a two-run homer, connecting for the second time in two games with the Yankees.
The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Judge joined Oakland slugger Mark McGwire as the only big league rookies to hit 30 home runs before the All-Star break. McGwire had 33 at the break in 1987. ... Aguilar had three hits for the second consecutive game and became the first Brewers rookie to knock in seven runs. The previous Milwaukee player to have seven RBIs in a game was Braun last year. The only other rookie to have seven RBIs against the Yankees was Boston's Walt Dropo in 1950.
Before the game, Judge posed for photos with former Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez and girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. Several players from the Brewers also snapped shots with Lopez. "It's a great idea," Counsell said, smiling. "I endorse it 100 percent."
Brewers: Guerra was removed after the rain delay with a bruised right shin. He was hit by Austin Romine's low line drive in the fourth and checked by a trainer. The right-hander initially remained in the game -- for one pitch before the heavy showers arrived. ... RHP Wily Peralta (strained right calf) is likely to make at least one rehab appearance after the All-Star break before returning from the disabled list, Counsell said.
Yankees: A report in the Daily News included an anonymous quote from a "Yankee insider" questioning 1B Greg Bird's desire to return from a bruised right ankle that's kept him on the DL since May 2. Bird has another doctor's appointment Monday. "I want to play. I've always wanted to play since I can remember. I love baseball," Bird said. "I'm doing everything I can to get back."
Brewers: Rookie LHP Brent Suter (1-1, 3.00 ERA) starts Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (5-4, 3.52) makes his final start before heading to his first All-Star Game. The 23-year-old Severino is the youngest Yankees pitcher to make an All-Star team since Mel Stottlemyre also was 23 in 1965.