Judge HR, Cole Ks lead Yanks over Giants

NEW YORK — Aaron Judge followed his record-setting 2022 by homering on his first swing as Yankees captain, starting New York to a 5-0 opening day win over the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.

Gerrit Cole (1-0) struck out 11 in six scoreless innings, a Yankees record for an opener, and 21-year-old Anthony Volpe went 0 for 2 with a walk, stolen base and two nice defensive plays in his major league debut.

Gleyber Torres added a two-run homer in the fourth and Judge blooped an RBI broken-bat single in a two-run seventh that included DJ LeMahieu’s run-scoring single.

Logan Webb (0-1) struck out 12, the most for the Giants in an opener. Cole and Webb joined Dave McNally and Sam McDowell in 1970, and Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom in 2019 as the only opposing starters with double-digit strikeouts in an opener since 1901.

On the first day of the pitch clock, there was just one violation, on J.D. Davis at the plate in the ninth inning. The game was played in a brisk 2 hours, 33 minutes before a sellout crowd of 46,172 on a sunny, 39-degree afternoon.

Judge hit 62 home runs last year to break the American League record of 61 set by Roger Maris in 1961. He became a free agent and was courted by San Francisco before signing a $360 million, nine-year deal with the Yankees, who named Judge their first captain since Derek Jeter retired at the end of 2014.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone worried he would see Judge introduced on the third-base line with the Giants. Instead, Judge was in a usual outfield spot for the Bleacher Creatures Roll Call, then took a strike and hit a thigh-high cutter 422 feet into the netting above Monument Park in center field for home run of the new MLB season.

Volpe, who had about 60 family members on hand, walked on a full-count pitch in the third, grounded out in the fifth and struck out in the seventh.

Cole allowed three singles and broke the Yankees strikeout record for an opener set by Tim Leary with nine in 1991. Among those he fanned was his brother-in-law, Brandon Crawford.

Wandy Peralta, Jonathan Loaisiga and Ron Marinaccio finshed a four-hitter and the Yankees first opening-day shutout win since Rick Rhoden’s three-hitter in 1988.

The Giants opened in New York for the first time since beating Pittsburgh 4-3 at the Polo Grounds across the Harlem River in 1956, their next-to-last season before moving to California.

Michael Conforto went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts in his first game with the Giants. He left the Mets after the 2021 to become a free agent and missed last year with a right shoulder injury.

Webb allowed four runs in six innings. The Giants’ record for strikeouts in an opener had been 11 by Madison Bumgarner in 2017.

Numbers game

Volpe switch from No. 77 to No. 11 after calling former Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner and asking for permission to take the number, last used by Gardner in 2021. Volpe made a fine defensive play in the fourth, coming in to field Thairo Estrada’s three-hopper and throw to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who gloved the ball with a stretch. Volpe also started a double play on Wilmer Flores’ sixth-inning grounder.

Ever changing

Blake Sabol became the Giants’ 17th opening day left fielder in 17 seasons since Barry Bonds retired. SS Crawford made his 12th straight opening day start, tying Barry Bonds for second-most with the Giants behind Willie Mays’ 15.

War room

New York constructed what it called a “War Room” in what used to be equipment storage space near the clubhouse entrance. It has three screens and three rows of seats. Boone said the enlarged staff created a need for larger meeting space.

Polo grounds

Giants manager Gabe Kapler on Wednesday visited the site of the Polo Grounds, the Giants’ home from 1891-1957.

Giants moves

OF Stephen Piscotty was released from his minor league contract, at his request. … OF Matt Beaty was acquired from Kansas City for cash and his contract and struck out as a pinch hitter. C Roberto Perez went 1 for 2 after his contract was selected. … RHP Sean Hjelle was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento and OF Bryce Johnson, RHP Sergio Romo, INF Casey Schmitt and C Austin Wynns were reassigned. … Luis Gonzalez (lower back surgery) and LHP Thomas Szapucki (left arm neuropathy) were put on the 60-day IL. … OF Mitch Haniger (left oblique strain), OF Austin Slater (left hamstring strain) were placed on the 10-day IL and RHP Luke Jackson (Tommy John surgery) on the 15-day IL, all retroactive to March 27.

Yankees moves

Infielder/outfielder Franchy Cordero was signed to a one-year contract. … Volpe’s contract was selected to the major leaguer roster and RHP Johnny Brito was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … RHP Scott Effross and RHP Luis Gil (both right elbow surgery) were placed on the 60-day IL. … OF Harrison Bader (left oblique strain) and C Ben Rortvedt (left shoulder) were placed on the 10-day IL, retroactive to March 27. … RHP Luis Severino (right lat strain), RHP Lou Trivino (right elbow strain), RHP Tommy Kahnle (right biceps tendinitis), LHP Carlos Rodon (left forearm strain) and RHP Frankie Montas (right shoulder surgery) were placed on the 15-day IL, retroactive to March 27.

Up next

New York RHP Clarke Schmidt and San Francisco RHP Alex Cobb are scheduled to start Saturday, when rain is forecast.


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